Report: Kings hiring Rockets analytics guru Monte McNair to run basketball operations

The Sacramento Kings are hiring Houston Rockets assistant general manager Monte McNair as their head of basketball operations, The Athletic reports.

Minnesota Timberwolves executive vice president of basketball operations Sachin Gupta and former Atlanta Hawks general manager Wes Wilco were reportedly among the finalists for the job alongside McNair.

New era in Sacramento

The Kings initiated a front-office shakeup in August when they fired longtime general manager Vlade Divac. Assistant general manger Peja Stojakovic left the team shortly after Divac’s exit. Head coach Luke Walton remains in place after one year on the job.

Divac was the general manager since 2015 and oversaw the widely panned draft selection of Marvin Bagley in 2018 when Luka Donic was available. The Kings have not made the playoffs since 2006.

The Kings have a new head of basketball operations. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
The Kings have a new head of basketball operations. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

About McNair

McNair studied computer science at Princeton and was a leader in the Rockets’ analytics revolution. Morey hired him in 2007 as a senior analyst, and he worked his way up to assistant general manager in 2018.

“Monte has been absolutely critical to the success of the Rockets over his long tenure,” Morey said in 2018 upon McNair’s promotion. “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.”

The Rockets are one of the most analytics-forward franchises in sports, a process that resulted in Houston’s 3-point proficiency and this season’s experimental small-ball lineup that saw 6-foot-5 P.J. Tucker playing center.

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