How McNair identifies ‘Kings DNA' while constructing roster

How McNair identifies ‘Kings DNA' while constructing roster originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Monte McNair is the architect behind the organizational transformation that saw the Kings go from an NBA laughingstock to a bonafide contender in just three short seasons.

During Kings Media Day, McNair sat down with NBC Sports California's Morgan Ragan and explained the traits Sacramento looks for in players when constructing their roster.

"I would say, I'm going to steal [VP of Basketball Ops.] Phil Jabour's phrase, but the Kings' DNA that we look at, competitors, guys who wanna play hard, come in [and] figure out a way to win," Mcnair said. "High basketball I.Q. guys, with the amount of passing, cutting, the complexities around coach [Mike] Brown and coach Jordi's [Fernandez] defense, we need guys that can figure out their way around a basketball court. I think guys that just want to work and get better, and just figure out a way to improve.

"I think we've done a pretty good job of bringing those guys in, and the great thing is once they're in here, they'll improve internally, they'll make their teammates better. They'll overcome certain challenges, you know adversity is going to hit, and by bringing those guys in on the front end, they're able to tackle it as it comes up."

The blueprint McNair and his front office laid out led to them bringing in veteran players like Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk, who proved pivotal to the Kings' first winning season in over 15 years.

They also drafted Keegan Murray, whose standout rookie season earned him NBA All-Rookie First Team honors last season.

Perhaps most importantly, this vision gave them the confidence to identify De'Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis as their foundational pieces moving forward.

The key to turning around any struggling franchise begins with constructing a culture, and McNair and his staff have successfully flipped the script on a Kings team that is hungry to build on its massively successful 2022-23 season.