The Sacramento Kings have missed the playoffs in each of the last 14 seasons, and they are reportedly heading in a different direction in the front office as they look to turn things around.
Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic first reported on Wednesday that the Kings were hiring Houston Rockets assistant general manager Monte McNair as their next head of basketball operations. The Kings confirmed the news on Thursday morning.
“I am thrilled to join the Kings organization and honored to shape the franchise’s bright future for the team’s loyal fans,” said McNair. “I would like to thank Vivek for this opportunity and look forward to becoming a part of the Sacramento community.”
McNair will have his work cut out for him as the Kings haven't even finished a season with a winning record since the 2005-06 campaign.
There is some reason for optimism, though, as Sacramento has young talent to build around with De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley III, among others. Competing in the daunting Western Conference may take some time, but there is at least a foundation in place for McNair as he arrives.
“Monte is one of the NBA’s top basketball minds who has played an instrumental role in building several winning teams in Houston,” said Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé. “I am excited to bring his extensive experience and vision onboard to lead our basketball operations department, and it is my pleasure to welcome Monte and his family to Sacramento.”
Houston promoted McNair to assistant general manager in 2018.
He joined the organization in 2007 as an analyst, became the director of basketball operations in 2013 and then became the vice president of basketball operations in 2015.
"Monte has been absolutely critical to the success of the Rockets over his long tenure," Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said in 2018. "His unique combination of analytical skills and ability to work with our coaching staff was a key driver in our record breaking season last year."
Houston has been to the playoffs every year since 2013 and reached the Western Conference Finals twice.
Such a run would be a significant step in the right direction for the Kings.