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Kings GM Candidate Profile: Wes Wilcox

We conclude our Candidate Profile series with Wes Wilcox.

Four named candidates remain in the Sacramento Kings search for a new general manager: Sachin Gupta, Calvin Booth, Monte McNair and Wes Wilcox. 

We've profiled Gupta, Booth, and McNair previously, so let's dive into Wilcox's resume in the NBA: 

Wilcox began his NBA career as a scouting and video intern for the Miami Heat in the 2001-02 season. The now-New Orleans Pelicans hired Wilcox as a full-time video coordinator the following season. 

The following season saw the Cleveland Cavaliers hire Wilcox as an advanced scout. Wilcox held five different roles in six seasons with Cleveland. He started as an Advanced Scout and became a College Scout the next season (2004-05). The next year, he became a Pro Personnel Scout (2005-06). 

In the 2006-07 season, Wilcox joined the team on the sidelines as an Assistant Coach until the 2008-09 season when he was the Director of Player Personnel for Cleveland. During this season, he was also GM of the Cavs G-League team, the Canton Charge. 

In 2012, the Atlanta Hawks hired Wilcox to be an Assistant GM, where he stayed in that role until 2015. That year, he was promoted to GM of Atlanta and held that role until 2017. Wilcox resigned after saying a racially insensitive comment; he's been Atlanta's Special Advisor since resigning. 

Let's dive into the notable transactions Atlanta made starting in 2012 when Wilcox became an assistant GM:

2012-13:

  • Atlanta trades Marvin William's to Utah for Devin Harris 
  • Joe Johnson is dealt to Brooklyn. Atlanta received Jordan Farmer, Anthony Morrow, Johan Petro, DeShawn Stevenson, Jordan Williams, cash, swaps for 2014 and 2015 first round picks and a 2017 second round pick. Farmar would be waived.
  • Signed Lou Williams to a multi-year deal
  • Acquired Kyle Korver from Chicago for cash
  • Traded Willie Green to the Los Angeles Clippers for the draft rights to Sofoklis Schortsanitis 
  • Signed Ivan Johnson and Anthony Tolliver
  • Traded Morrow to Dallas for Dahntay Jones
  • Traded a 2013 second round pick to Golden State for Jeremy Tyler and cash. Tyler would be waived shortly after
  • Draft: Dennis Schröder 17th overall, Shane Larkin 18th overall, Raul Neto and James Ennis in the second round. However, the draft rights to Larkin would be traded to Dallas for the draft rights to Mike Muscala and Lucas Nogiera, Jared Cunningham and cash

2013-14:

  • Re-signed Jeff Teague who was a RFA
  • Claimed Gustavo Ayon on waivers
  • Signed DeMarre Carroll to a multi-year deal
  • Acquired Antawn Jamison and cash from the Clippers for the draft rights to Cenk Akyol. Jamison would be waived shortly after
  • Draft: Adrien Payne 15th overall and Edy Tavares in the second round
  • Traded a 2015 second round pick to Milwaukee for the draft rights to Lamar Patterson
  • Acquired John Salmons and a 2015 second round pick from Toronto for Lou Williams and the draft rights to Nogiera

2014-15: 

  • Acquired Thabo Sefolosha, the draft rights to Georgios Printezis and cash from Oklahoma City for the draft rights to Schortsanitis
  • Signed Kent Bazemore to a multi-year deal
  • Traded Payne to Minnesota for a conditional 2018 first round pick
  • Draft: Kelly Oubre Jr. 15th overall but traded him to Washington for the draft rights to Jerian Grant, a 2016 second round pick and 2019 second rounder. Marcus Eriksson and Dimitros Agravanis were taken in the 2nd round
  • Acquired Tim Hardaway Jr. from New York for the rights to Jerian Grant

2015-16:

  • Acquired Tiago Splitter from San Antonio for draft rights to Printezis and a conditional 2017 second rounder
  • Signed Justin Holiday to a multi-year deal
  • Traded Holiday and Shelvin Mack to Utah and Chicago in a three-team deal. Kirk Hinrich came to ATL
  • Signed Kris Humphries to a contract 
  • Draft: DeAndre' Bembry 21st overall and Isaiah Cordinier and Kay Felder were taken in the second round

2016-17:

  • Moved Jeff Teague to Indiana in a three-team deal that saw ATL acquire the draft rights to Taurean Prince
  • Signed Dwight Howard to a deal 
  • Traded Korver to Cleveland for Mike Dunleavy, Mo Williams, cash and a conditional 2019 first round pick
  • Traded Mo Williams and cash to Denver for the rights to Cenk Akyol
  • Acquired Ersan Ilyasova from Philadelphia for Splitter, swap rights for 2017 second round picks and a 2017 2nd rounder (MIA owned)
  • Acquired a conditional 2017 second rounder from Phoenix for Mike Scott, rights to Akyol and cash
  • Claimed Jose Calderon on waivers
  • Wilcox became a Special Advisor in May 

Wilcox recently interviewed with the Chicago Bulls, and the Detroit Pistons also considered him for their search, so his name has been floating around more than one opening. 

There's no doubting Wilcox's experience; He's certainly qualified and has years of promotions to back that up. He's also been an analyst for NBATV, for what that's worth. However, his comments I highlighted earlier definitely leave a stain on his profile, though that hasn't stopped teams from having interest. 

Atlanta posted a 91-73 record before Wilcox's resignation but much of those wins came in his first season as GM. 

Questions to consider:

  • Is he the right person to hire in today's political and societal climate? If he's said that comment in public, what has he said that's not publicly documented? It's a bad look that his top articles are about resigning due to his comments. 
  • Wilcox only had one draft as the main GM. Can he make the right picks for a team that can only get high profile talent from the draft?
  • Is he a better candidate than Gupta or McNair?

Extra Links:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.sbnation.com/platform/amp/2019/6/30/19914069/how-does-nba-free-agency-work-preview-2019-wes-wilcox-interview

https://networthheightsalary.com/wes-wilcox-bio-wife-family-and-other-facts-you-need-to-know/ 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nba.com/amp/hawks/wes-wilcox-talks-hawks-draft-picks 

https://www.peachtreehoops.com/2017/2/22/14701244/atlanta-hawks-paul-millsap-trade-rumors-wes-wilcox

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Maxwell Huss
10 days ago

Connor Adam
10 days ago

https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/18446972/atlanta-hawks-disciplined-general-manager-wes-wilcox-racially-charged-remark

From ESPN…

“Wilcox, who is white, fielded questions from about 200 season-ticket holders and club members at a “Chalk Talk” event on Dec. 7. After some challenging questions from attendees, Deadspin reported that Wilcox responded by saying he had “a black wife and three mixed kids, so I’m used to people being angry and argumentative.”

A Hawks internal investigation from Dec. 27 to Jan. 9 that included interviews with attendees concluded that Wilcox didn’t use the words “angry and argumentative,” but the mention of race merited his being reprimanded internally by the franchise.”

Rory Cornell
10 days ago

Everybody has to make their own decisions on this stuff, but I personally don’t think this is the type of thing that should hinder Wilcox during the interview process. It was a dumb statement I’m sure he wishes he can take back, but doesn’t rise to the level of unhireable offense IMO. He’s also the only candidate who’s actually been the top decision maker in the past. The Hawks blueprint is something that the Kings should consider adapting. It wouldn’t be the worst thing if the kings starter were capable of collectively winning the player of the month award.

Last edited 10 days ago by RORDOG
10 days ago

I’m not sure that he actually said anything wrong, especially considering the further investigation of the matter. His intention, and I think intention is important, was definitely not to be offensive. Maybe it was a cringeworthy attempt at levity but questioning what he says in private because he said this in public is disingenuous and is pandering to the cancel culture climate. This is not proof of him being a racist. He doesn’t deserve to be cancelled for that. That said, he’s still the lowest on the list for me based on his merits.

K W
10 days ago

He has experience signing John Salmons, so I’m sold.

Rik Smits
10 days ago

There’s a separated at birth comment lodged somewhere in the caverns of my brain, but it’s not getting out.

People, help me.

This will be very awkward if his twin brother is an obscure Dutch folk singer.

Bryan B
10 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

Herman George van Loenhout otherwise know as Armand?

Adam Dieter
10 days ago

I can honestly say there is not one deal that Wilcox was apart of that I would consider a positive. There are also quite a few deals that involved ATL getting cash compensations.

Hard pass.

Rory Cornell
10 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

I’m sure it’s just an accidental omission, but 2013-2014 looks a lot better once you include the Millsap signing. He went to the all star game every single year he was in Atlanta.

Adam Dieter
10 days ago
Reply to  RORDOG

I’m more interested in his role as actual GM from 2015-17. Those are the years that we can truly evaluate him.

Wilcox is the one who gave Bazemore a 4 year $70M deal after averaging 11 and 5. That was nonsense.

He followed that up by signing Dwight Howard to a 3 year $70M deal.

Those two actions alone are why I don’t want him.

Maxwell Huss
10 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

Yep. Might be another one of those guys who is fine as an assistant, but not good in any higher capacity.

Rory Cornell
10 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

That’s fine. I’m just saying signing a guy who became a 4x all-star should probably be included in the transaction list, and would obviously be considered a positive move.

Greg Wissinger
Admin
10 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

Important to note that during those years he was GM, mike Budenholzer was the final decision maker. Hard to know how much of the bad was Wilcox vs Bud.

Adam Dieter
10 days ago
Reply to  Greg

Oh wow, I didn’t realize that.

Jeromy Simonoff
10 days ago

So, again, who can we expect the Kings to ACTUALLY have for candidates once the list of guys we’d LIKE to have (who are actually “qualified”) all turn us down…?

Rory Cornell
10 days ago
Reply to  Sacto_J

obviously this is just my opinion, but I don’t think the Kings will be choosing from a pool of candidates outside of the ones we’ve already heard about. Perry/Dumars is probably still a possibility based on all the reporting, but that’s the only possible outcome I can see happening other than them picking one of Wilcox/McNair/Booth/Gupta.

And to be honest all the hand wringing about the process seems a bit overblown to me. The list of potential candidates is about as good as you should expect for a team like the Kings. When it’s all said and done they will have replaced an unqualified GM with a person who’s shown they’re more capable of running the basketball operations dept. That’s obviously just the first step in what will be a long journey back towards respectability, but you gotta start somewhere.

J Man
10 days ago
Reply to  RORDOG

The Perry/Dumars possibility may be why Dumars is not participating in the interviews of the other candidates. That gives him plausible deniability when the Kings are unable to come to terms with the others and have to prevail upon Joe to take the position.

Rory Cornell
10 days ago
Reply to  Jman1949

That’s the part I think people missed throughout this process. It makes no sense at all for Dumars to participate in the hiring process to find his replacement. It just seems logical that he was given the interim tag, but was offered the opportunity to retain his advisor role if they choose to hire Perry and keep Catanella in his assistant GM role. This whole process seems like an opportunity to choose between continuity and a complete restructuring of the org. chart.

Rik Smits
10 days ago
Reply to  RORDOG

It makes no sense, other than that it was reported.

Sam Amick and Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Dumars has no interest in being the long-term head of basketball operations, and will not be a candidate in the search. In fact, he’s expected to be a pivotal part of the process and will likely interview candidates alongside Ranadive.

Rory Cornell
10 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

I’m just spitballing here, but what if Amick has clarified the situation?

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

First Last
10 days ago
Reply to  Sacto_J

I think we’re setting ourselves up for epic levels of disappointment.

Bryan B
10 days ago
Reply to  Marty

Nah, there’s no such thing as an “epic” level of disappointment for us.

First Last
10 days ago

OT

Nice work folks. Worn with pride.

comment image

Greg Lederman
10 days ago
Reply to  Marty

At least allow your dog to be a Warriors fan or something

First Last
9 days ago
Reply to  Gregoryl

He’s a Sacramento native, GO KINGS!

Rory Cornell
10 days ago

Oh wow it’s crazy I was driving home earlier on highway 99 from my job as a sexy bikini model and saw Wilcox driving to his job interview with Vivek

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