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Monte McNair explained the process behind the Kings offseason

Darn that Monte McNair, being patient and prudent.
By | 105 Comments | Jul 19, 2023

Dec 13, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive (L) and general manager Monte McNair (R) look on during warm ups before a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento Kings GM Monte McNair sat down with The Athletic and spoke at length and with great candor about Sacramento’s offseason. It’s an excellent read. I highly recommend checking it out in it’s entirety, but we will share a few key excerpts here.

This interview suggests that, for the time being at least, there are no major moves in the works and we are looking at a nearly-complete version of next season’s roster. The Kings have one final roster spot (not counting the additional roster spots allowed for training camp) and one more two-way contract they can use.

“I think sometimes, you don’t want to be too complacent, and we know the West is going to be tough,” McNair explained. “On the other hand, Harrison’s our oldest rotation player. He just turned 31. … Everybody else is pre-prime or just beginning their prime – 27 or younger. So it’s not like, ‘Oh, we’re gonna bring it together and there’s no real chance of improvement.’”

It’s worth noting that McNair acknowledges that the Kings explored various options before ultimately deciding on this course of action. It was previously reported that the Kings were in pursuit of OG Anunoby, so it isn’t as though the front office made zero effort to improve the roster, but they ultimately settled on maintaining continuity as a more preferable option than free agent overpays.

McNair points out how the team received the same criticisms after last year’s trade deadline about not making a move, but the continuity worked. McNair, to his credit, is quick to acknowledge that there was some luck involved in Sacramento’s post-deadline success.

But the most notable element of the interview, to me, is that the Kings clearly believe in both Sasha Vezenkov making an impact and in Keegan Murray continuing to grow as a player.

On Sasha:

“A lot of people hear ‘international’ and they don’t know them, and then they come over and all of a sudden it’s (Nikola) Mirotic or it’s the Bogdanovics (Bogdan and Bojan) or (Nemanja) Bjelica,” McNair said. “Or you can obviously go back to the Pejas and Turkoglus (former Kings Peja Stojakovic and Hedo Turkoglu). And once they’re over here, then people get excited about them. But I think people will be surprised, just because they don’t know him very well and what he can do.”

Monte also goes on to discuss the years-long scouting process that went into trading for Vezenkov, and the process to bring him over to the NBA.

Monte also discussed Keegan’s upside:

“We know we need Keegan to take another step,” McNair said. “And one of the ways he can do that is to be more of a second or third option as opposed to a fourth or fifth option. And it’s hard to do that when you have two all-NBA guys, right? Then you have Kevin Huerter and Harrison Barnes. So you know, it may take some time for him to do that within the natural flow.”

What I like about this interview is that it’s clear the Kings believe in Murray, but also aren’t expecting him to have completed his next leap by Game 1 of the upcoming season.

A recurring theme of the interview is that Monte is looking not just at this season, but at seasons to come. The Kings have all their draft assets except the protected first rounder owed to Atlanta, and have the majority of the team locked into multi-year contracts that are good values. That gives the Kings a lot of flexibility for future trades, something Monte says the Kings continue to look at opportunities for.

I suspect this interview will be a bit of Rorschach test for Kings fans. If you were already happy with this offseason, you’ll enjoy hearing the logic and reasoning the Kings front office was using. If you felt the Kings squandered their opportunity this offseason, you’ll see this as trying to explain away the team’s inability to attract free agents. Either way, I doubt this is changing anyone’s minds. But as someone who thought the Kings made solid moves this summer, I appreciated Monte opening up, pulling back the curtain, and offering a glimpse into the team’s thought processes.

 

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sonny
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July 19, 2023 12:50 pm

But Nerlens Noel?

ArcoThunder
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July 19, 2023 1:24 pm
Reply to  sonny

I like that move. I think his skill set compliments Ox, Lyles, and Len nicely. I’m not that worried about his last two years on the Pistons. That team sucked, was trying to suck and had an abundance of young Centers that they were invested in trying to figuring out which one or two to keep around and build with their young guards and wings. Noel didn’t really fit what that team turned into after he signed.

Last edited 10 months ago by ArcoThunder
Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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July 19, 2023 2:13 pm
Reply to  ArcoThunder

He didn’t sign there. He signed a 3 year deal in NY for $32M then traded to Detroit less than a year later. Detroit then waived him a few moths after that. Brooklyn, who did need size with only Claxton as their true center, signed him to a 10 day contract, but that was it. He was cut in the middle of March and no one else picked him up for the playoffs.

What concerns me is that Brooklyn was a playoff team and didn’t have a center to back up Claxton, but didn’t seem it was necessary to hang onto Noel for the remainder of the season, nor did any other playoff/play-in team, including the Kings.

SuperShaka
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July 19, 2023 3:18 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Brooklyn not keeping Noel isn’t concerning to me. After they cut him Day’Ron Sharpe played every game which makes sense for a young team. And he wasn’t eligible to play in the playoffs for another team after being cut.

Last edited 10 months ago by SuperShaka
ArcoThunder
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July 19, 2023 3:20 pm
Reply to  SuperShaka

Oh really!

interesting. Thanks

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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July 19, 2023 4:03 pm
Reply to  SuperShaka

You are right! He was cut in the middle of March which made him ineligible by just a week or so.

ArcoThunder
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July 19, 2023 3:20 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I stand corrected. Somehow I’m still not that concerned. I am curious of their (brooklyns) reasoning for not keeping him on was and why no other team was interested. Injuries? I’m purely speculating. Considering our GM just signed him, one could pontificate that he was on the radar of our front office at that time as well. What was the kings reasoning for not picking him up? We’ll never know but I am curious. You got my brain doing brain stuff.

In my opinion he’s still a nice compliment to the bigs already on the roster. Brings something the others don’t.

I still would like to see Giles sign on but…. A man can dream.

RobHessing
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July 19, 2023 3:33 pm
Reply to  ArcoThunder

As recently as two yeas ago the Noel signing would have been to fill a core rotation position for a bad team. This signing is basically to battle Alex Len for who backs up Trey Lyles, who is backing up Domantas Sabonis. Basically, Noel is battling for the 11th – 13th seat on the bench. He’s in a battle to wear a jersey on the end of the bench instead of a civilian clothes.

It’s good summer grist for the mill, but in the grander scope of roster construction, it’s (thankfully) a bit of a nothing burger.

Hamlet1989
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July 19, 2023 6:16 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

This sums up my opinion well. Also Noel is more expensive than most other minimum deals (or Queta) due to his years of NBA experience. This creates a larger ballast, in trade for a larger contract, while still not effecting the cap at all. Other than Wood, who MM isn’t apparently interested in, for whatever reason, (money maybe? doubts about him fitting a role? idk) there’s no one really left who was likely to make an impact. The decision could have come down to who wanted to come to Sac., while being likely to mesh well with the locker room, and fitting the salary structure they were looking for, at the minimum level. Any meaningful minutes played come as a bonus. Also it doesn’t even look probable they lose Queta’s rights. I haven’t heard of any team rushing to sign him.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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July 19, 2023 4:05 pm
Reply to  ArcoThunder

I vaguely recall he had some foot issues. Maybe that’s the reason the Nets cut him after his 10 day? I hope it wasn’t anything serious and I really hope the Kings got full medicals on him before signing him to the current deal.

murraytant
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July 19, 2023 3:58 pm
Reply to  ArcoThunder

I too am not a big Nerlens fan but better fit than Wood, Naz Reid wanted to stay in the cold weather, Plumlee wanted to take less money and stay in LA, Bol squared wanted a ring in Phoenix, Jackson Hayes is a head case, and this is the best left. I liked Omer Yevestskin. My suspicion is that this deal was set up before the official signing of Sasha. It’s all a sequence thing.
A few other teams have excess big guys and the season has not started yet.

TheGrantNapear
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July 19, 2023 4:10 pm
Reply to  sonny

I’m not high on the NN signing, but it’s not that big of a deal as it’s being made to be by those who don’t like the signing, it’s one year for 3 million.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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July 19, 2023 4:41 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

The cost is the vet minimum so I don’t see why anyone can be upset with that. I just have concerns in regards to the fit and roster. He seems redundant with Len at this point. I shiver at the thought of Sabonis missing a week or two with a nagging injury. The center position depth is the weak link on this roster. The Kings can get by if Huerter goes down, Murray goes down, Barnes goes down….and even if Fox goes down, but they have nothing if Domas needs to sit.

I will say, Noel has experience, is a solid vet, doesn’t come with baggage, and knows he’s expected to be a defensive cog.

Hamlet1989
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July 19, 2023 7:10 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

“The Kings can get by if Huerter goes down, Murray goes down, Barnes goes down….and even if Fox goes down, but they have nothing if Domas needs to sit.”

It’s highly debatable who they would miss more between Fox, and Sabonis.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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July 19, 2023 8:51 pm
Reply to  Hamlet1989

I disagree. There is a legit PG in Mitchell behind Fox who is capable of bringing the ball up the court. There is even Monk who has basically functioned as a 2nd string PG and is a 6th man of the year candidate. Can they match Fox’s scoring output? No, but the team as a whole might.

When it comes to Sabonis, the offense runs through him in the half court. He is the primary playmaker, not Fox. That cannot be replaced by Len or Noel, nor can his rebounding. The team craters when Sabonis sits, while the same can’t be said when Fox sits.

I think some folks have said it here and elsewhere that it may be that Fox is the best player, but Sabonis is the most valuable player. There is a distinction when it comes to how the TEAM performs on the court.

RikSmits
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July 19, 2023 10:29 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Well said.

Hamlet1989
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July 20, 2023 7:08 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Yes, he did express some valid points, and his reasoning is very sound.

Want2win
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July 20, 2023 12:38 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

This is very well said, and I think the coaching staff needs to adjust a little bit for when he’s out. Find the right combinations where we can still be efficient. I just don’t think we’re gonna find another player that can handle the facilitation Sabonis does as a center, so we have to maybe change up a little bit of the offensive approach. I know that it’s much easier to talk about but executing a change in approach is hard..

andy_sims
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July 20, 2023 12:53 pm
Reply to  Want2win

There’s pretty much only one other center that can do what Sabonis does, and I think we all know who that is. If our man is injured, it’ll just be a matter of gang-tackling the facets that would be lost, but there’s not a fully adequate way to replace players of that calibre.

Hamlet1989
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July 20, 2023 7:08 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Sabonis is truly gifted, he’s the hub of the wheel. Fox is the power to the wheels, he truly is a bad-ass!

Hamlet1989
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July 20, 2023 7:04 pm
Reply to  Want2win

Yes well said indeed, and I think the staff will adjust as well as can be done, but Sabonis is difficult to replace. There just aren’t many facilitators like him, but with more shooting, hopefully they won’t need quite as good of looks as Domas spoon-feeds them, to still knock-’em-down at a high rate.

Hamlet1989
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July 20, 2023 6:56 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Do I really need to spend another off-season defending D Fox? After he finally got his official accolades this last season? Ok, since your down for the debate;

“There is a legit PG in Mitchell behind Fox who is capable of bringing the ball up the court”
.
I’ve already spent half this off-season defending “off-night,” but while Mitchell is, yes, “a legit PG,” way “behind Fox.” To say Davion is not a replacement for the “Clutch Player of the Year,” is hardly slighting him. Fox does a lot more than “bring the ball up the court.”

“There is even Monk who has basically functioned as a 2nd string PG ”

I’ve also spent this off-season defending Monk, who, (I’m just gonna come out and say it) is BETTER than Huerter, and Huerter’s good! Monk comes closest to replacing De’Aaron’s scoring, on many nights, but he’s also not the natural superstar that Fox is. You just can’t expect the same level of performance Fox brings game-in, game-out.

“When it comes to Sabonis, the offense runs through him in the half court. He is the primary playmaker, not Fox.”

Sabonis, himself, acknowledged handing the ball to Fox, and allowing him to bring home the win. Domas is certainly the “primary playmaker,” Fox is the PRIMARY FINISHER! That refers to both plays and games. De’Aaron Fox is the leader of the Kings!

“The team craters when Sabonis sits, while the same can’t be said when Fox sits.”

Sure, they’re “runnin’ it back,” but this team is growing, and next season is not a repeat of last. As for the regular season, we can only hope things go so well. As for the playoffs, Domas (like everyone) sure didn’t look any more irreplaceable than Fox.

All of this is speculative, on both sides, hopefully no one misses significant time this upcoming season, but I don’t think a 30, or even 40, game absence by either star, automatically precludes another playoff appearance by the Kings. The damage to their record would likely be similar in the absence of Fox or Sabonis. The main determining factor for wins and losses is, probably, strength of schedule/opponents in any case.
Domas has changed the course of the franchise, but let’s not take our homegrown SUPERSTAR for granted.
Fox is the absolute envy of most the league. TOTALLY IRREPLACEABLE. TOTALLY!!! Let’s put some RESPECT on his name!

9sac8
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July 20, 2023 5:03 am
Reply to  sonny

What about him?

jwalker1395
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July 19, 2023 12:52 pm

I used to legitimately believe that I would not see a Kings title team in my lifetime (I’m 28). Monte makes me reconsider that.

Of course it’s still a very difficult and unlikely thing for this franchise to do, but having a guy that consistently identifies, acquires, and retains talent on value contracts is eventually going to assemble a group of guys who can get it done.

I just hope he doesn’t jump ship should one of the league’s premier jobs open up, because I know they’ll come looking for him. In Monte We Trust.

TheGrantNapear
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July 19, 2023 4:12 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

I used to mockingly say “In Vlade we Trust” during that era. Now we can legit say with confidence “In MM We Trust”

Amonk81
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July 19, 2023 11:21 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

I love McNair. From the jump. He’s actually running the team with logic and reason and knowledge.

Everything he does makes sense.

andy_sims
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July 19, 2023 1:23 pm

Definitely a good read, and covered a lot of ground. But what I liked the most is that he didn’t say or hint at anything that fans around here didn’t already know.

McNair telegraphs nothing, and I effing love it.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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July 19, 2023 2:14 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Yup, he reminds me of Petrie in that way.

ajonez81
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July 19, 2023 1:28 pm

I like what he’s doing you don’t have to go from not making playoffs to winning it all right away, it’s usually a process. He’s building it slow and giving our pieces time to see what happens, can always make moves at trade deadline if necessary. I couldn’t be more excited about this season, got all our pieces back, and finally some good uniforms.

ArcoThunder
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July 19, 2023 1:29 pm

recently anointed General manager of the year had a solid offseason that sets himself up to significantly improve the current team (who just had the most efficient offense in NBA history) in 6 months, a year and two years from now.

Last edited 10 months ago by ArcoThunder
Adamsite
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July 19, 2023 2:16 pm
Reply to  ArcoThunder

The way he has set up the players on contracts is the most impressive. He really does have the assets and contracts to make a big move if one were to prevent itself. There is not a bad contract on the roster.

Hamlet1989
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July 19, 2023 7:14 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Indeed

MichaelMack
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July 19, 2023 10:13 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Excellent point Adam.

There is depth, flexibility, and fungible assets.

I am excited that there seems to be a five year plan rather than a scramble for the immediate future.

Adamsite
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July 19, 2023 2:19 pm

I really hope the Kings can continue on their trend and the ATL pick gets conveyed ASAP. If the Kings are outside the bottom 14 and the pick goes to ATL, then Monte really has a full cupboard of assets to play with next summer.

SuperShaka
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July 19, 2023 4:17 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Two years of success with our top players secured for years to come. Adding multiple picks with multiple proven quality role players could net an exciting return. Also two years of playoffs with a clear path for improvement is an intoxicating possibility after so much time in the wilderness of suck.

Hamlet1989
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July 19, 2023 7:18 pm
Reply to  SuperShaka

Monte’s MO is so self-evident to us all. The plan is clear, and easy to define.

murraytant
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July 20, 2023 2:12 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Next year is a “bad” draft. I sure as heck hope Kings are not in the bottom 14. THAT would be a major disappointment.
Atlanta gets the pick then.
Kings did not have in the end, a first round pick this year, either.

discocricket
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July 19, 2023 2:33 pm

I have a bit of trouble understanding how the roster will play out in terms of shot distribution. Assuming the team wants Keegan to increase his FGA per game by 2-3, do those shots come from Barnes and Huerter? Where do Vezenkov’s shots come from? A challenge I have with this summer’s approach is that every player save Davion is offense-first, and I’m not sure there are enough balls to go around. A Barnes that averages 7 FGA/game doesn’t give you enough defensively to be worth $18M.

KingBob
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July 19, 2023 2:57 pm
Reply to  discocricket

I think it’s just flexibility. It’s not a matter of x player getting their shot number up. It opens up the option of riding the hot hand. Some nights they might have a lot of attempts and some not so much. With this much offense and their willingness to share the ball we can get more good attempts and are less prone to losing a game because our star player has an off night (like the Cousins era).

Want2win
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July 19, 2023 3:03 pm
Reply to  KingBob

^ this!

Adamsite
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July 19, 2023 3:05 pm
Reply to  KingBob

I’ll add it’s also injury insurance. Last year the Kings were blessed with excellent health, sans a broken thumb. Having players who can step up if another goes down invaluable. Depth is never really a bad thing, unless someone gets butt hurt over not getting playing time.

murraytant
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July 19, 2023 3:52 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

no Poole here.
The unselfish tone is set by the coaches and the stars.
Fox is going to have to make Keegan shoot the damn ball !.

murraytant
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July 19, 2023 3:53 pm
Reply to  murraytant

let it fly!!!!

Hamlet1989
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July 19, 2023 7:28 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I don’t see anyone having a legit bitch, the salaries all align with their talent, experience, etc.. The players in line to get the most time have all earned it. There’s a bit of a question, in my mind, about Huerter starting over Monk, but it’s very debatable. Beyond that, there is a very clear pecking order.

Adamsite
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July 19, 2023 8:56 pm
Reply to  Hamlet1989

I can squint and see there might be a minutes issue between Barnes, Lyles and Sasha. The latter is the best player in Europe and may not settle for 12 minutes a game behind Barnes and Lyles.

If Sasha comes out on fire, is Barnes going to be content with a bench role? I wouldn’t think there would be a problem, but we just saw what became of Holmes as starter to a end of the bench player.

IMO, Sasha is the wildcard and could make or brake the roles of Barnes and Lyles going forward. It’s a good problem for Monte to have either way. All look to be solid rotation players.

murraytant
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July 20, 2023 2:15 pm
Reply to  Hamlet1989

Huerter vs. Monk as a starter- Monk is very effective as a microwave scorer off the bench and if he and Fox start, there is some serious size problems with that lineup. While Huerter is not a great defender, his size does help in match ups with larger 2 guards.

kgdobter
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July 19, 2023 5:30 pm
Reply to  KingBob

Yup! You can never have enough good shooters!

Hamlet1989
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July 19, 2023 7:23 pm
Reply to  kgdobter

Shooters take the pressure of of each other. No one bears the scoring burden alone. No one need worry about going into a slump when there’s a line of guys, on the bench, who all are ready for minutes.

andy_sims
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July 19, 2023 3:11 pm
Reply to  discocricket

It’s not complicated: Whoever has a clean look at the basket takes the shot. They don’t need to take turns, and it’s a smart, unselfish group that’ll get the ball where it needs to go.

The depth of this roster is going to overwhelm teams that aren’t as fortunate. Run ’em to death with wave after wave of fresh legs.

SuperShaka
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July 19, 2023 3:59 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

That’s the dream isn’t it! Playing in waves with Sabonis at the eye of the storm. Players that whirl around the court as Fox blows by opponents in staggering bursts.

discocricket
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July 19, 2023 6:44 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I’m not convinced this is a recipe for playoff success, which is what I’m most interested in. When rotations tighten up, our 8th best guy being better and fresher than your 8th best guy really doesn’t matter, because those guys barely play. What matters is my top end talent vs. yours, particularly the top 3 guys. In terms of a projected playoff rotation, we made zero upgrades (Vezenkov could surprise here) and are banking on internal growth to carry us.

Hamlet1989
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July 19, 2023 7:32 pm
Reply to  discocricket

The talent pool is deep Give it time to sort itself out. Trade quantity for quality later.

murraytant
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July 20, 2023 2:18 pm
Reply to  discocricket

the value of depth in the playoffs is the insurance against injury and the flexibility to shift some lineup emphasis against individual opponents. While the starters might remain the same, the lineups vs. Denver or GSW might be different.

Hamlet1989
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July 19, 2023 7:30 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I think your right on this one Andy.

murraytant
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July 19, 2023 3:51 pm
Reply to  discocricket

one solution- apply to the league to play with two balls. That’s what the Suns did.

all B.S. aside, take best shot available and don’t worry about shot distribution until the middle of the 4th and then Fox gets all the shots. The culture is amenable to this. There is no Kuzma or C. Wood on this squad.

RobHessing
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July 19, 2023 3:54 pm
Reply to  murraytant

Yep. We saw it last year. This team will defer to the hot hand. We saw Huerter go off one night and Monk go off the following night. I anticipate more nights for Murray, and Barnes could become even more deferential. I anticipate that Vez will get fed well when he’s feeling it.

This was a team that was more concerned with the end result than getting their individual hash marks last year. If the effort to maintain continuity pays off, sky’s the limit.

Want2win
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July 20, 2023 3:47 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

How about the fact that we’re just worried about having enough shots for the quality players, which we now have. Versus asking do we have enough players that can score consistently it sure is a nice change.

Hamlet1989
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July 19, 2023 7:36 pm
Reply to  murraytant

Nice. Good point. Depth, and fresh legs gives Fox the best chance to continue his fourth quarter heroics!

murraytant
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July 20, 2023 2:20 pm
Reply to  Hamlet1989

NBA TV had a replay of the Kings vs. LAC.
I had forgotten how good the Kings were. They are just resilient.

DCKing
July 19, 2023 8:31 pm
Reply to  discocricket

To me Barnes is the status quo– we don’t want to let him leave for nothing or sign with another team as a leader. We just wanted to keep up the momentum as the wise, calm, and collected player that does everything OK. He doesn’t stand out and thus could see about 7-10 less minutes a game. Hopefully he is a trade chip as soon as that window opens up.

With Oubre not being signed I’m still not fully convinced that Barnes is the better option. I believe that Kuzma would take the ball out of Keegan’s hands and ,maybe disrupt the offense that we have led by Fox going to the hole and Sabonis passing and rolling. Kuzma’s cost isn’t ideal, so maybe we dodged a bullet. I would have offered Herb Jones and Cam Johnson $3 mil more to join the Kings.

I am very hopeful that Sasha take 5-7 minutes from Barrnes and Duarte gets some small bites with Edwards stepping in on defense. All the while I sincerely hope I’m a bit wrong in that Barnes trends upwards, but overall need him to keep his trade value or else the $18 mil will be just too much money spent for guys like Monk and Davion to be retained at good deals at the end of the year (Monk: $13-18 mil; Davion: $10-12 mil).

andy_sims
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July 20, 2023 10:47 am
Reply to  DCKing

They already have Holmes’ $12.9 mil off the books for next year, and that’s most of what’ll be needed to keep Monk, if that’s how things go.

Mitchell’s QO next summer is only $8,741,209.

murraytant
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July 20, 2023 2:21 pm
Reply to  DCKing

I like Cam and Herb Jones but they were personally committed to NOP and Nets. No amount of money would have changed that.

Want2win
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July 19, 2023 3:02 pm

I am happy with this year’s off-season moves, I look at the overpays, and I’m glad we didn’t do that because I’m not sure they would’ve improved us. I would have loved we a stretch 4 that can block shots but there’s not a lot of Jaren Jackson, Jr.‘s out there. Siakim could do that but at what price?

As MM mentioned, we have a lot of players going into their prime and I think the team will get better, I love the Sasha signing. He was the most efficient offensive player in the Euro league and I believe he was third in rebounding. He gives us a lot of options I think we will use Alex Len more which will help us for rebounding, etc.. I believe that the team can make some small improvements in rebounding which will help us defensively. if you go back and look at the game 7 playoff loss it was that seven minutes where we couldn’t get a dang rebound that killed us and I’m not sure another big would’ve helped us because so many of them were long rebounds that you need your guards to get. I also think that Duarte, will be a plus, and then Murray will improve. I would’ve preferred to have a Mo Bamba over Nerlens Noel.

Anyway, I see this roster going deeper in the playoffs next year with the good graces of health come playoff time

I am super happy for the upcoming season, the only sad part for me is I will be moving away from Sacramento next February or March. I’ve lived here my entire 54 years and I’ve been a huge kings fan so I will make sure that I fly back out for playoff games. if they play in Atlanta next year after I move back there, I will definitely be behind the Kings bench wearing my kings gear

andy_sims
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July 19, 2023 3:13 pm
Reply to  Want2win

Well, best of luck in your new adventure!

Want2win
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July 20, 2023 12:30 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Thanks ..I’m actually going back to live with my wife of 11 years.. we have been together for 17 but we were busy raising our children with our exes. The time has finally come where we can live together since the kids are off to college etc. so there’s a good chance I may be back in a year because she’ll be tired of me lol ..

RobHessing
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July 19, 2023 3:34 pm
Reply to  Want2win

Safe travels, and good luck!

Want2win
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July 20, 2023 12:31 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Thank you

murraytant
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July 19, 2023 3:48 pm
Reply to  Want2win

League Pass is a must.

Want2win
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July 20, 2023 12:31 pm
Reply to  murraytant

Absolutely

Carl
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July 19, 2023 5:57 pm
Reply to  Want2win

Best of luck in your new home!

Want2win
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July 20, 2023 12:32 pm
Reply to  Carl

Thank you.. I will miss sac and surrounding areas I have called home.

MichaelMack
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July 19, 2023 10:20 pm
Reply to  Want2win

Good luck to you W2W.

20 years ago on a whim I moved from Sacramento (Born in South Sac, grew up in EG, moved to Land Park) to Seattle, and have loved every minute of it, and found it easy to not lose touch with Sactown.

ATL is a fun city, good for you for being bold.

Want2win
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July 20, 2023 12:32 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

Thank You.

Klam
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July 20, 2023 11:39 am
Reply to  Want2win

Best of luck on your move! I was supposed to visit Atlanta spring of 2020…but of course we all know what happened during that time. Definitely is still on my list of destinations to travel to and visit. I’ve heard good things about the Waffle House food..

Want2win
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July 20, 2023 12:35 pm
Reply to  Klam

Yes lots of great food and entertainment.. lots of history too.. when I first started dating my wife would make her pull over so we could read all of the historical markers because there’s lots of them especially around Civil War items. She finally got sick of it and said you go explore I don’t want to read each of these. Waffle House is great inexpensive simple breakfast food where there is some great people watching. I always get a simple two eggs over easy bacon and hashbrowns are covered in smothered, which means grilled onions and melted cheese…

murraytant
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July 20, 2023 2:23 pm
Reply to  Want2win

Want to Win becomes too much weight with all that southern food.

Want2win
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July 20, 2023 3:48 pm
Reply to  murraytant

LOL

andy_sims
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July 20, 2023 3:16 pm
Reply to  Want2win

Knock over a Confederate statue for me.

murraytant
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July 19, 2023 3:46 pm

Monte and Wes are slow and deliberate. It is a good thing that I am not GM or I would have offered and signed about 10 guys.
Most fans simply do not appreciate the moves here: all based on sequence with multiple options. I think the first priority was to jettison Homes’s contract. If Kris was there at 24, this would have been done but in a different way. That move set the tone- and the sequence. No spectacular moves but look at it:

Delly out Jones in – Delly was great in the locker room but a liability on the court. On a 1-10 scale, despite Jones’s youth this is a +2.

TD out, Duarte in. TD could “microwave” but Duarte is a better fit, better defender and more versatile and longer. A +2-3

Metu out, Sasha in. Metu is more athletic but that’s it. A +3-4
Holmes out, NN in. Holmes was a ghost. This is a necessary move and a zero. If you count salary gain and the money to get DS signed and out of the way for next off season, then a + 4 but lost the #24 pick, so a + 3.
There is still slight roster room. I do not expect anything big.
Getting OG would have cost way too much in terms of assets. Kuzma too expensive. Naz Reid in love with his home team.

Predictions: Jones outscores the duds rookie Podz per 36 minutes and Sasha outplays Saric

Not sure of the cap situation. Kings still under?

Hamlet1989
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July 19, 2023 7:51 pm
Reply to  murraytant

$146,017,651 including Queta’s cap hold, and before Noel’s signing. 22nd overall in the NBA, and a very reasonable total for the talent on this team. Over the cap, but not a tax-team.

Adamsite
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July 19, 2023 8:58 pm
Reply to  Hamlet1989

And I think Monte leaves that last roster spot open in case of a injury caused need for a vet minimum deal.

andy_sims
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July 20, 2023 3:17 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Plus the flexibility to take back two players for one.

Hamlet1989
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July 21, 2023 2:37 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Your certainly right, but I don’t know why they would do that, unless they’re paid to. I seems like they are likely to trim the rotation, at the deadline, rather than look for more depth. Trade end-of-the-bench talent, and prospects for another “difference maker,” going into the post-season.

ForKingsandCountry
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July 19, 2023 3:55 pm

It’s a very measured approach and after last season I think he’s earned the benefit of the doubt. I think when it’s been so long since this team has been relevant, you sort of want to jump right into title contention. Monte is mostly betting on internal development and I think in Keegan’s case it’s at least warranted. I still am very concerned about the defense but I suppose the hope is that with another year in the system, that will improve. And given Keegan’s shot blocking in summer league, maybe he can provide a little rim protection now that he’s clearly a little bigger in year 2 and maybe understands his defensive positioning better. We’ll see how it goes.

Carl
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July 19, 2023 5:45 pm

If you were already happy with this offseason, you’ll enjoy hearing the logic and reasoning the Kings front office was using. If you felt the Kings squandered their opportunity this offseason, you’ll see this as trying to explain away the team’s inability to attract free agents.

This is actually pretty simple. This is a playoff team. The Kings set a standard last year that they have to exceed for this season to be successful. If they make it out of the first round, that’s a successful season. If they don’t, it isn’t. There are potential mitigating factors with major injuries, but whether or not the offseason was successful is really about results at this point.

Certainly the front office have earned themselves both time and patience with the team’s success this season. If I had one request, it would be to upgrade rotation players who can’t get it done in the playoffs. A lot of the Kings players struggled at points in the Warriors series, but most of them had at least had a few good games. There are a few players (and one or two in particular) who struggled enough that it started looking like the yips. Again, the bar is the second round, and if you have guys on the roster who just can’t get it done in the playoffs, I feel like you have to move on, regardless of what they do in the regular season.

Last edited 10 months ago by Carl
lakerssuck2002
July 19, 2023 6:45 pm
Reply to  Carl

Isn’t it fun to get to talk about the next step in our team growth is to evaluate who performs/doesn’t in the playoffs? I suppose Barnes & Huerter were on the top of that list. Here’s to hoping they both play better in the next round of playoffs.

I am very excited for next season. When does preseason start?

Hamlet1989
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July 19, 2023 7:03 pm
Reply to  Carl

I was feeling the same way, but I now feel it’s actually more important to build for stability, and a perennial playoff contender. The team must progress, it truly is that simple. And progress means advancing beyond the first round, yes, but so long as this team is going to the postseason, (even the play-in, so long as they make it past) Monte was right to not mess with a winning formula, and sacrifice flexibility. Moves can still be made to improve the team at the deadline. Moves can still be made next year. This franchise could not afford to risk any mistakes, which could halt their momentum, based on the assumption they needed to show playoff improvement this season. As long as they continue to compete at a high level, and we have a team worth cheering for, I’m fine with the status quo for a couple, even a few seasons, if they can push deeper into the playoffs eventually. After enduring a 16 season playoff drought, I won’t complain too loudly if my team only makes the first round for three consecutive years before breaking through to a championship! No mistakes! No bad contracts! Stability, consistency, continuity. If you look at this teams salary structure, it all aligns with a sensible elegance to it, top to bottom, that few others have. Monte is piloting the ship with a competency that has been missing for a LONG time.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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July 19, 2023 9:09 pm
Reply to  Hamlet1989

Sac had a fantasy season. +18 wins.

How’d they do it? Lots of ways – some lucky, mostly coaching and two guys stepping up to be All-NBA.

That’s a great achievement and of course, we want more.

But was that really a 3rd team in the West team? It was such a strange year in so many ways.

Keeping the chemistry, the coaching staff, the Gm/front and not trying to “fix” a first round exit in 7 games makes good sense.

Every team is different, but I can’t help but compare the fantastic Timberwolves 2021-22 season when they doubled (!) their previous season’s win total (23->46).

They went All In with Rudy Gobert and are now fighting their way back with 42 wins this past season and were looking lost until trading at the deadline for Mike Conley.

I am expecting/hoping:
Top 6 finish. Playoffs with at least one more win than last season (4 or more). Fox All-Star. Domas All-Star. Another season with (+) point differential.

Not expecting:
Championship contender. We’d all welcome WCF or better, but not expecting it.

I’ll be disappointed if they don’t reach my expectations, but with the last season, it’s still House Money in my book. I’m back in as a partial STH.

Adamsite
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July 19, 2023 9:28 pm

Solid take. I’m in the same camp. I’m not sure they will match 48 wins, but they will (should) still make the playoffs. They had a ton of injury luck while the rest of the West did not. If the tables turn, the Kings could end up .500. If things trend similar I could 45ish wins, and around 6th in the West.

I should be clear in that I don’t expect 48 wins to get the 3rd seed again. I think there will be at least 4 teams in the west that break 50 wins. Last year was a bit funny.

Last edited 10 months ago by Adamsite
RikSmits
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July 19, 2023 10:35 pm

I agree with most points here. Rec’d.

I personally don’t care at all about individual accolades such as All-Star. Only a bit about Finals MVP.

RikSmits
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July 19, 2023 10:32 pm
Reply to  Carl

Happy to purple this.

Scorliss_In_Sacramento
July 19, 2023 8:55 pm

What if Kings have a bunch of injuries and finish with like the 11th pick and Hawks finish with their usual #19 or so pick? Would Kings be willing to swap in order to finalize the Huerter deal? Maybe Hawks have to throw in a 2nd? This would give Kings complete flexibility for the future.

andy_sims
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July 20, 2023 10:59 am

If the Kings are out of the lottery, can either team decline to do the swap? My assumption was that if the Kings are 15 or higher, the pick conveys automatically, but I don’t know for certain.

murraytant
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July 20, 2023 2:29 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I think this is a pure convey, not a pick swap. If the Kings get one of the top 14 picks, (lottery) they keep it and the pick conveys the next year – 2025. If the Kings “miss” the top 14 (out of lottery) Atlanta automatically gets that pick.
Not sure about all the shenanigans with the #11 and #19 and a swap. I suppose that’s possible, but Atlanta would probably just wait a year.

andy_sims
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July 20, 2023 3:19 pm
Reply to  murraytant

You are right, straight conveyance, thank you. May it be in the high twenties!

RikSmits
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July 19, 2023 10:26 pm

I have publicly supported Monte and his patient approach, so this is good to hear.

Having said that, I still have my concerns. (I fear that I will keep being concerned until the Kings string together 10+ seasons of competence and postseason play?)

I can see the internal growth offensively, with coach expanding the playbook, guys improving (Keegan!) and the addition of Sasha.

I have questionmarks where the internal growth will come from defensively and on the boards. My biggest questionmark is whether Sasha can be adequate or will he be repeatedly targeted. Can he be a plus on the boards? Has Barnes lost too much lateral quickness and jump to hold the fort? Does Keegan have the lateral quickness to be effective? He seems to be a bit averse to physical play. Can Davion be consistent enough offensively to stay on the court? (I don’t see Noel is a viable rotation player at this point. I hope he proves me wrong).

I appreciate that the team is built on offense. I have my doubt that that will be enough come play-off time. As some other posted here above, improvement will be measured by play-off sucess, not by merely reaching the play-offs.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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July 21, 2023 2:35 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

High octane offense teams tend to post very appealing regular season records. Barring the unknown (health, especially in regards to Fox and Sabonis) 45 wins seems a reasonable projection and the West seems to have improved – the parity issue may once again mean that 45 wins is top 6 (and I hope so).

Playoffs means defense. And so I see what you mean – it’s worrisome. That’s 9 months and 82 games from now ( and a silly NBA Mid-Season Tournament in between).

Hamlet1989
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July 21, 2023 2:50 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

High-end talent only helps if it plays, look at the Clippers. Monte has assembled enough depth of quality players, for the regular season grind, you should feel comfortable about the Kings chances of getting to the post-season, irrespective of injuries. Once the final pecking order, and rotation is established, unload the peripheral pieces, at the deadline, for someone to move the needle in the playoffs.

Nemanja_Business
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July 20, 2023 12:25 pm

So as of today roster looks like this:

C: Sabonis, Len, Noel
PF: Barnes, Lyles, ???
SF: Murray Vezenko, Edwards
SG: Huerter, Duarte, Jones
PG: Fox, Monk, Mitchell

2 way: 1) Keon Ellis, 2) Jalen Slawson, 3) ???

Roster has 1 vacancy and 1 2 way player contract that can possibly be filled.

With Keon Ellis on a 2 way contract I would love to see the Kings focus on a couple of front court players. Guys who can play the 4/5 positions for depth purposes in case rhe injury bug strikes.
Guards are a. Dime a dozen. It’d be good to add some big depth.

Last edited 10 months ago by Nemanja_Business
andy_sims
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July 20, 2023 1:01 pm

I’d expect Vez to play considerable minutes at PF, given that he’s got more size than Barnes or Murray. I see Jones getting time at small forward, as his size will be helpful there, too. I’d expect there will be times where even Duarte slides up to the three, but less often than he needs to run the point.

Big lineups, small ones, track meet lineups, purely defensive ones…

Versatility is where it’s at, baby.

murraytant
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July 20, 2023 2:32 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Versatility is key. Anything you can do, I can meet it and do it better. Duds want to put super small lineup out there-? ok, so what. Wolves want to put a giant lineup out there? ok, so what.

Nemanja_Business
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July 20, 2023 7:12 pm
Reply to  murraytant

This is why I think we need another big. Would be helpful against a team like the wolves.

murraytant
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July 20, 2023 10:18 pm

yes. Nerlens will have a difficult time against KAT, Gobert or Naz Reid

caseycheesecake
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July 21, 2023 10:33 am

I love the team’s position at the moment. If Vez works out, we can VERY easily trade our 31 yo on a very solid contract Barnes.

I’m so excited for another year of growth. Our team is so young and almost everybody should be taking a small or large step up.

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