Calvin Booth is one of the reported original six candidates the Kings have requested to interview for its open general manager position.
Booth is a former NBA player who had stints with seven teams from 1999 to 2009. Coincidentally, the last team he played for was the Kings, though it was only for seven games. Over his career, Booth averaged 3.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1 block in 12 minutes per game. He was drafted 35th overall out of Penn State in the second round by the Washington Wizards.
His biggest moment as a player came in the 2001 NBA playoffs as a member of the Dallas Mavericks when he made a game-winning layup with under 10 seconds left to win the series over the Utah Jazz. (You can check it out at the 1:32 mark in this video.)
Not a bad poster on Mike Dunleavy here also.
Anyway, you aren't here for his playing career, let's take a look at what he has done since he retired as a player.
Front Office Experience
Late in his playing career, Booth would write out scouting reports on flights. He has said scouting reports were always a passion of his. Shortly after he retired as a player, he took a gig as a video intern with the Washington Wizards yes an intern. Now, that is dedication considering he had just finished playing a decade in the league. He then moved on to a scout role with the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2012-13 season. A year later, the Minnesota Timberwolves hired Booth and he climbed the ladder to director of pro personnel and started to become known a good talent evaluator. After four years with the Wolves, the Denver Nuggets hired him as assistant general manager in August 2017.
Over Booth's three seasons with the Nuggets, the team has done well thanks to the rise of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. In that timeframe, the team went from 46-36, to 54-28, to 46-27 in this shortened season (third place in the West). And course, they are still alive against the Los Angeles Clippers in the Orlando bubble playoffs.
In the last couple of seasons, Booth has interviewed with a few other teams for top front-office positions. In 2019, he interviewed with his former team the Timberwolves for its president of basketball operations position. Other reported candidates were Chauncey Billups, Trajan Langdon and Gersson Rosas. The Wolves hired Rosas in May 2019.
In April of this year, he was reported to be a candidate for the open Chicago Bulls general manager job. In May 2020, the Bulls hired Marc Eversley.
Though the Timberwolves and Bulls may have passed on him, the Nuggets decided the give him that promotion by naming him General Manager in July. Nuggets President of Basketball Operations, Tim Connelly referred to Booth as "one of the brightest basketball minds" in the league.
Booth has shed some light on his views about being involved in an NBA front office in a few interviews.
On over-analyzing players in terms of spending so much time on the draft this year when it has been pushed out so far by the pandemic:
One concern of ours is potential paralysis by analysis. We don't want to take these guys apart too much or make somebody better when it's really not there by watching too much film or doing too much research. So I think ours is probably more of a less is more approach right now.
On scouting international players:
I value [international scouting] a lot, Booth said. All we're trying to do is look for where inefficiencies are, where you can get value. Even though as the years go on and as people get more and more interested in Europe and they are putting more resources into it, it's still a landscape where you can find a gem.
You can find a Nikola [Jokic] at No. 41. It's a lot harder to find [a similar prospect] at No. 41 if he is playing in the NCAA. It is a very important part of our scouting package and we'll continue to value it moving forward.
"Workouts are tricky. I think you like to have them, but they can go any kind of way. You can have a guy that has a terrible workout for whatever reason and you judge it too harshly and he ends up being a good NBA player. Or, you can have it where a guy that was off the radar performs really well in the draft workout and if you don't evaluate it correctly it ends up being bad. That's kind of what happened with [Kyle] Kuzma. Utah he was pretty good, but not like he has been in the NBA. Plays really well in the draft combine and has some good workouts and you are like OK, which one is the correct thing to do? Is he going to be the Kuzma that we saw in the combine and workouts, or is he going to be like how he was in Utah? Obviously, in his case, the combine and workouts were accurate."
On Jokic and how there's more than being athletic:
Nikola was like an analytic darling, to say the least. I heard all the guys in Minnesota always talking about him. I thought he was a really good player. I remember seeing him in an early season workout my first time in Denver and I was like, man that guy is even better than I thought he was. ¦ I think him and [Luka] Doncic, and even to a lesser extent guys like Jamal [Murray], it's not always about how high you jump or how athletic you are.
On the comparisons between Dirk Nowitzki and Jokic:
"When you look at how both of them can dominate a game without being elite athletically in the NBA, and they both have really high shot releases that are hard to get to. But once you start getting away from that you start seeing a lot of divergence. Nikola is more of a creator and facilitator for others and Dirk is an elite scorer, shooter."
On Michael Jordan's form of leadership portrayed in The Last Dance:
"I think there's a million different ways to win. We witnessed it with Golden State. They don't have guys that are necessarily like Michael Jordan, but they were dominant. So, I think Michael is arguably the best player to ever play. It worked for him, but I think other styles of leadership can work for other people too."
On what makes a good front office:
"I think everybody has to check their egos at the door and be willing to work long, hard hours. Be willing to have good conversations and once those conversations are over, dialogue, or debate or whatever you want to call it, once you leave the room you're all on the same page."
On how important stability is:
We run a different shop here in Denver. One of the most vital keys to our success is our continuity in the front office, the coaching staff and players.
On how often disagreements in NBA front offices happen:
"Several times a year, usually around draft time. Those are always fun dialogues and debates, and you don't know the answers until several years out."
Booth also supports out-of-the-box approaches for building culture. For example, the Nuggets invited Peyton Manning to speak to the players about his career experiences via Zoom before leaving for the Orlando bubble.
Booth's direct involvement in the Timberwolves and Nuggets transaction history isn't clear, but here is a brief look at some of the highlights.
2012 Pelicans draft Anthony Davis first overall (sort of a no-brainer).
2013 - Pelicans draft Nerlens Noel with the sixth overall pick and trade him to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jrue Holiday and Pierre Jackson
July 2014 Pelicans sign Jimmer!
August 2014 Pelicans sign John Salmons! (Would later trade him for Norris Cole, Shawne Williams and Justin Hamilton)
2016 - Pelicans draft Buddy Hield 6th overall
February 2017 Pelicans trade Hield, Tyreke Evans and Langston Galloway to the Kings for DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi
Feb 2018 As part of a three-team deal, the Nuggets trade Emmanuel Mudiay to the New York Knicks and get Devin Harris.
2018 - Nuggets draft Michael Porter Jr. with 14th overall pick
July 2019 Trade a 2020 first-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Jerami Grant
Feb. 2020 - In a four-team deal, the Nuggets get Keita Bates-Diop, Shabazz Napier, Noah Vonleh, Gerald Green and a 2020 first-round pick. They send Juan Hernangomez, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt to the Timberwolves.
Two of the six reported candidates (Trajan Langdon and Adam Simon) have withdrawn themselves from the Kings interview process. That leaves Sachin Gupta, Monte McNair, Wes Wilcox and Booth of this initial batch of potential candidates.
Editor's Note: as we're preparing to publish this, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee reports Booth is unlikely to proceed with the process. This wouldn't be surprising. We'll continue to keep an eye on the situation.
Sources: Denver Nuggets GM Calvin Booth unlikely to move forward in Sacramento Kings' hiring process. Booth would be third candidate to withdraw, joining Miami Heat assistant GM Adam Simon and New Orleans Pelicans GM Trajan Langdon.https://t.co/thrxr1PVCP
— Jason Anderson (@JandersonSacBee) September 12, 2020
These guys are turning down the gig faster than we can get profiles out on them. I’m beginning to think that this organization may have gained a reputation that is not aiding them in their attempts to fill this job vacancy.
How long til we have the Red X article On Booth?!
The circle/slash will become our alternate logo.
This GM search is already a disaster, par for the course of the franchise really.
Should just change the image on this one. It would be fitting to see the front page full of faces with red x’s
It’s ok. I’d rather not have the guy who assassinated Abraham Lincoln to be our GM.
I was hoping we’d hire him & add Spencer as asst. GM. Calvin&Hawes!
But this organization is known to have a lot of infighting.
While I agree in full, is anyone else even the teensiest bit encouraged that the Kings are at least asking the right people to interview?
You can ask the most beautiful girl to dance but there’s the chance she thinks you are a schlump.
Yep. But if you don’t ask, the answer is no by default. You miss 100% of the shots you never take.
That said, all the hot chicks at the dance are saying “eeewww” and running away. We MIGHT need work on our image.
That’s what ya get for dumping Vlade on prom night!
Why would someone leave a GM job with the Nuggets to go to the Kings?
It was probably easy to overlook my question to you in one of the other threads regarding the list of candidates for the Kings position, so I’ll ask it here again:
Can you give us one name you would add to the list?
Gotta have at least six!
If I had time to research it, yes.
I’m busy right now, thinking about the upside of Lamine Diane.
By all means, take your time, but I hear it shouldn’t be hard to come up with one name:
I could come up with one hundred names if you pay me to. I mean, for all the complaints everyone has about Vivek’s previous hiring process (I agree with you) I find it hard to believe that you all should be content with a list of only 3 names. Is that a good process? Hey Joe, come up with some possible candidates. (Joe writes down 6 names). Hey Joe, three or four of these guys will reject the job immediately. Correct. So all we got is Scott Perry and Gupta? Correct. Doesn’t sound very genuine. You all should just admit you’re looking for a tank commander to get a higher pick in the 2021 draft.
Okay then, how about Doug Christie?
I guess I should have specifically asked for the name of someone qualified to be added to the list, not just another ex-King with absolutely no relevant NBA front office experience.
your memes are cute. By the way Danny Ainge jumped from TNT commentator to executive director of basketball operations for the Celtics. No prior front office experience. Geoff Petrie started his post-playing career as a radio commentator for the Trailblazers and was soon promoted to senior vice president of operations. Those are the first two GMs I searched. I think Doug Christie has shown he’s a professional every day. He’s in touch with the team, the organization and the league. He’s a competitive guy who also checks his ego at the door. He analyzes the game pretty well. So try not to get personal and misjudge Doug Christie solely because you want to prove me wrong.
Doug is probably a super cool guy but he is not a serious candidate for GM.
Amongst the myriad of reasons here’s one. His analysis of Joerger vs Walton. Either he believes Luke is a better coach than Dave, or he was carrying water for Vlade and the organization.
If it’s the former I have absolutely zero trust in his decision making as it pertains to hiring a coach. If it is the latter I have zero faith that he will stand up to Vivek or Matina.
Either one of those conclusions should be disqualifying.
I haven’t heard that analysis. I honestly just came up with that name because Jman was insisting I give him one. My point was there are plenty of people who can do the job. If the organization thinks there are only three people who can do it, they’re not doing their due diligence. I’m sure lists of employees exist for other teams. One can also look at commentators/ broadcasters. One can look at past experience of other GMs and look for other with similar experience. Maybe some former coaches. There are so many people who work in a basketball related field, and it’s not rocket science.
Gotcha. I agree there are a lot of qualified people. I don’t offer too many opinions on the GM front because outside the top GM’s I don’t know much. Even with the top guys I don’t know if it is them or the people around them, or the organization.
It’s concerning that a lot of candidates seem to be turning us down but I wonder how much of that is normal. At least a couple of the front runners seem to be willing to come here. That makes me feel a bit better about the search.
perhaps the organization could come up with more names if they included black candidates in their search. listing a current GM of another franchise doesn’t count.
Half of the known six candidates are people of color with Calvin Booth and Trajan Langdon being black. Why wouldn’t listing a current GM count??
Didn’t Mitch Richmond spend time as a Special Advisor to the front office with both the Warriors and the Kings? While I wouldn’t count him a prime candidate for the top spot, I wonder if he might be considered for a more substantial ongoing role with the organization than as a tv commentator.
because there’s no chance of them leaving their current GM job. All of Jman’s trolling led to an interesting discovery. In a league that is 75% black, the Kings didn’t consider a single black candidate.
What are you saying here? They literally considered two that we know of. Just because the candidates ultimately decided they didn’t want to move forward in the process doesn’t mean they weren’t considered.
I just want to make sure we commemorate the time eddie41 commented perhaps the organization could come up with more names if they included black candidates in their search. listing a current GM of another franchise doesn’t count in response to an article about a black candidate for the job.
the nomination process for the annual commenter cognitive dissonance award is now closed. It is simply impossible that anyone can top this one.
In Petrie’s two years as Sr.VP for the Blazers, their win totals dropped from 57 wins the year before he took over to 51 and 47 when he was in charge. The Kings did not have a winning record until Petrie’s sixth season here.
The Celtics went from 44 wins the year before hiring Ainge to 36 wins his first year; then 45 wins, 33 wins, and 24 wins before again establishing consistent winning records.
So it looks like putting an inexperienced executive in charge can carry with it a reasonably high probability of less success initially. Some might even disparage that as putting a tank commander in charge.
You’ve heard Doug, right? Not sure we need another guy who will just tell the boss what he wants to hear.
Might as well just give the job to Vivek.
why downvote Lamine Diane? I’m still watching tape of him. Dude can ball.
There are only 30 positions available for a person to run an NBA franchise. Yet, there are only 29 positions that are worth taking, if you’re a mentally competent person.
“Perhaps I should increase that one year guaranteed paid vacation to five…”
Dumars’ plan is working to perfection.
1) Name 6 candidates the Kings are “interested” in to make it look like he is working hard on the process.
2) Make sure those 6 dudes will all reject the idea of coming to the Kings before any interviews can take place.
3) Pitch the offer to Vivek the he will help out the Kings by “settling” for the GM job.
4) Be named new GM and savior of the Kings.
The sad part, is that in the end Dumars would be a major upgrade from our last two GMs, so … low bars and all …
If this gives Dumars complete control on all operations of the Kings then I say give it to him.
Can’t lie, I kind of like this.
Hopefully all this egg on Vivek’s face makes him realize how bad the situation here really is and forces meaningful long term change. It’s got to be embarrassing for him right?
Probably not though. KaNgZ.
Nothing will happen with the current Managing Partner in charge.
I vote for Greg to be our new GM.
California, Oregon, and Washington 🙁 🙁 🙁
The Bobcat Fire is messing us up here in Pasadena. Sky is dark and air is smoky. Got in a really grey mood and felt hopeless.
Hope you all are doing well. Maybe find some friends to talk to if you’re feeling isolated. TKH Kings news is sad, but Kings comments and images make me smile. 🙂
TKH community has gotten me through this trying year. It’s one of the few places I can go to and know I can laugh out and loud and trade jokes/memes with others.
Oops, my typo–I meant Kings news is sad, but TKH comments and images make me smile.
Yeah, especially now that we’re all mostly isolated and some of us can’t visit family/friends, it is really nice to have regular contact with you all here.
Hopefully there can be a TKH Night at a Kings game at G1C not too far into the future.
That month from the end of that-one-other-website to the launch of TKH was sooooo long. Because that was around the time the the shelter-in-place started, and not having you guys to talk to virtually during a time of quaratine sucked! But I’m glad the website is here and continues to go strong.
200 AQ here, an improvement over the peak of 450+ a couple of days ago. This reminds me of when St. Helens blew – ash all over the place. That said, no complaints when compared to what so many are dealing with right now.
I think that I’m ready for 2020 to be over.
Ugh, sorry to hear that Rob. I hope your skies get clearer soon.
I was also thinking about your college kiddo, and feel bad that his first year isn’t like all the normal years where you get to experience such a brand new life. I hope his second year is normal and awesome like it should be. That’s a great town to have fun in and make new friends.
He’s at BC now. It’s a helluva adjustment under normal circumstances, and these sure aren’t normal circumstances. But he wants to go into pediatric medicine, so this is a good appetizer for him. And as he was quick to note this morning, the AQ there was 17 today – he gave me that nugget of info before wishing me well on my inherited task (from him) of picking up after the dog.
Oh, wow so he’s there! Well, best wishes for his college years. 🙂
LOL, about inheriting the task of picking up after the dog. Hopefully you get to watch a game together at Fenway next season.
I’ll be right beside him with a popcorn on hand.
I can’t make photoshops at this pace. I can’t work like this.
Are they advancing because the other candidates dropped out? Or because they did great in their interviews?
Good to hear Gupta is coming back for a second round interview. May he get the team to the second round as well!
They’re advancing because they answered correctly on the first question:
Do you wanna work here, like, really?
I think the question was probably more like: “Hi, can we interview you for the Kings GM position?”
And his answer: “Sure, why not? It can’t harm to listen.” (Thinking: it will provide leverage in negotiations with the TWolves.)
So sad, but probably more than a little true. At least in one or two of those situations….
At least we know from Woj’s tweet that there was some sort of first round of interviews. And there is some room left for speculation about other unidentified candidates since these three are among those advancing…
1st round of interviews:
Kings: “Hi, we’d like to interview you for our GM vacancy. Are you interested?”
Kings: “Great, we’ll have somebody contact you to coordinate a time for the second interview.”
Woohooo atleast Gupta and Mcnair went ahead with their interviews and will be flying to Sac next week..
Gupta should be the frontliner but wont be opposed if its Mcnair..
No Wilcox please!
It won’t be the Kangz if they don’t sign Wilcox.
Would be funny after all 3 of them had just finished their 2nd interview then Gupta and Mcnair decides to not pursue the GM position which leaves Wilcox as the only candidate.. That would really say something about Vivek.. Full on KANGZ!
I don’t love McNair’s resume. Especially the last couple years in Houston. They gave up a shit ton of assets to acquire Chris Paul, and then gave up even more to get Westbrook.
Now they seem to be capped as a team that won’t reach the conference finals and they don’t seem to have a way out of it.
Obviously we don’t know how much Monte had to do with that, but from the surface I just see smarter moves in Houston while Gupta was there.
Houston has the longest current playoff streak of 8 seasons. I’d take that. They also have done that with very little talent that they drafted.
Yeah, I mean I think he would be fine. I just like Gupta’s resume better.
Sachin was in Houston when they acquired Harden (which Morey even credits him for). But the last two years since he left, I just don’t like what they’ve done. With an extremely high-usage player like Harden, I think you just need to surround him with high-end role players (3 and D, and a rim-protecting center)… I never liked the idea of another playmaking point guard playing alongside James, and that hasn’t turned out very well… While costing them valuable assets.
Maybe Gupta was really the brains behind what made Houston successful. And I like what he’s done in Minny as well.
I’d rate a Gupta hire an A-. McNair C+. Wilcox a D. Just my random fan opinion.
The Dumars Era is sooo bizarre!
Interesting revelation on the Kings front office search front: Sources say interim EVP of b-ball ops Joe Dumars is NOT taking part in interviews. It’s owner Vivek Ranadive and Mike Forde of Sportsology firm heading the search
Oh my, does this mean Vivek has learned from his mistakes?
It’s par on the course for the KANGZ. And for people who would say that this is good news, I disagree.
This shows a complete lack of a process, of clarity and of continuity. It – once again – gives an image of an owner who just throws shit at the wall and is easily swayed to change direction. Potential GM’s will love that, right? (Narrator’s voice: wrong).
Just over a month ago, Vlade was supposed to share responsibility with Dumars, basically working under him. After he “steped down”, Dumars role shifted to leading the search for a new GM. Now, four weeks later, amid concerns about his role, he is suddenly taken out of the search equation, not even being part of the people conducting the interviews.
So although it is ostensibly done to aliviate fears over Dumars role, it only highlights how capricious Vivek is.
And this should not have been hard; you keep Dumars aboard, keep him involved in the process but at the same time communicate clearly that once the new GM is in place, he will climb on his horse and set off into the sunset. That way you show that you stay through to your plan of letting Dumars lead the new GM search, while also giving teh candidates comfort.
I have very little faith in this process (and I’m using the term very loosely), and in what will happen in the long run after a new GM is hired.
I was thinking, this process has to suck for Dumars
Had Vlade just accepted his demotion, Dumars would’ve been given his second GM chance
Vivek is slowly approaching the level of the Maloofs in terms of having no clear direction, people not wanting to be there, etc.. Everytime I hear news like these it reminds me of the nightmare when we had the Maloofs.. SMH
I don’t hate this. I mean if Joe is not going to be involved in the FO, then he shouldn’t be a part of the hiring process either.
The whole situation has been a clusterf*ck due to the fact Vivek is a terrible manager and seems to be star struck by the likes of Dumars, and doesn’t want to hurt their feelings.
But at least from the outside it looks like Forde is trying to get Vivek out of his own way and get a handle on this situation.
And if that’s the case, I’m comfortable with it because Forde has shown himself to be good at what he does.
So no other voices in the room. Just Forde, Vivek, and the candidate. Let Forde make the decision. Let Vivek be on board and granting full autonomy to the hire. And of course Matina nowhere near this decision.
I really hope it’s Gupta.
A lot of speculation here, we really have no idea.
Definitely speculation on my part. Just based on what we see from the outside. Vivek wanted Dumars to co GM with Vlade. We know that. Then it was announced Joe would be involved with selecting the new GM. Then I think it was at that time Forde was announced to be as a consultant for this process (correct me if I get anything out of order).
From there, it seems like the narrative began to change in order to phase out Joe from this process, which I think would be the correct move. Forde has had success in this capacity; let him make the recommendation.
I’m just going to go with an object at rest stays at rest kind of thinking and assume the dysfunction didn’t disappear when Vlade left.
Vivek has shown from the beginning that spinning the narrative is his top priority, so I’ll file these leaks in their appropriate place, rather than try to fantasize about organizational competence.
History seems to be with me on this.
I’m totally with you on that. Although I’m encouraged by the steps taken, I’m aware that it’s pretty likely it’s all bullshit.
So we’ll see.
It’s fine with me to be optimistic, not an argument to me.
I just think we’re quite a ways off from what we truly want. Without generational talent on the court though, these discussions might be here to stay.
Generational talent says hello, agrees with your take.
This kinda goes along with my theory that Dumars/Perry/Catanella is the backup plan.
By my calculation, at the current rate of attrition my name will be added to the candidate list by Thursday. Don’t want to screw this updoes anyone know whether it’s customary to withdraw from consideration before or after the interview request?
Offer Billy Donovan Coach and General Manager/VP of Basketball Operations a la Popovich
I think the NBA is too complicated for that combo to be successful anymore. Stan Van Gundy, Doc Rivers, Tom Thibodeau all failed with this model and I don’t see Billy Donovan as someone who is strategically gifted enough on the coaching or executive side to be worth that risk.
Not to mention, we want more smart people in the org. Each of those positions is an opportunity to incorporate more ideas and more expertise.
This. It’s not even a matter of talent for each given role.. it’s more the total workload of each role and it being just too much for one guy to handle. Do you want your coach prepping and coaching only 1/2 or 1/3 of the time? Do you want your GM not 100% focused on building the roster, because he has to prep for games or practices? We need a larger staff.
Cue Gandalf from the film Jaws:
“You’re going to need a bigger staff.”