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Monte McNair has hired Wes Wilcox, Phil Jabour, and Paul Johnson to his staff, per report

McNair has added three experienced NBA minds to his front office.

Sacramento Kings GM Monte McNair has hired three new people to his front office, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Woj reports that Wes Wilcox will be Assistant GM, Phil Jabour will be VP of Player Personnel, and Paul Johnson will be Director of Basketball Operations.

Titles are different across teams, but the key here is that Wilcox will be McNair's lead assistant, with the other two handling various responsibilities in the front office. The three new additions join Ken Catanella who stayed and joined McNair's staff as a holdover from the previous regime.

Wes Wilcox was a finalist for the GM job that McNair ultimately won. Wilcox has extensive front office experience, and you can read our full profile of him here.

Phil Jabour joins the Kings from the Philadelphia 76ers. Jabour was promoted from a scouting role to Director of Scouting 2019. From the 76ers press release announcing Jabour's promotion to Director of Scouting:

Jabour joined the 76ers organization in 2014, after serving as a Scout for the Orlando Magic the previous two seasons. He’s scouted at the collegiate, professional and international levels. Prior to joining the Magic, Jabour worked in several different roles for the Houston Rockets from 2006-11, after serving as a support staff member with USA Basketball during the summer of 2006.

Definitely noteworthy that McNair has experience working with Jabour from his time with the Rockets.

Paul Johnson comes from the Oklahoma City Thunder where he served as pro evaluation coordinator. He was recently promoted by the Thunder and was going to serve as Assistant GM for the Thunder's G League team. It wouldn't be surprising if he was going to oversee the Stockton Kings.

We were already familiar with Wilcox, and we'll surely learn more about Jabour and Johnson in the coming days, but it's clear that the Kings just added a supporting staff with the level of experience Kings fans should hope for. We were hoping the Kings would add another experienced front office member, and the Kings just added three.

Update:

The Kings have officially announced these additions via press release.

“I am excited to have Wes, Phil and Paul join the front office,” said McNair. “Wes’ background as an executive in the league combined with Phil’s veteran leadership through the scouting ranks and Paul’s proven experience in evaluating talent will be strong additions to the basketball operations group. Their diverse skill sets and unique perspectives will add valuable knowledge and innovative thinking as we focus on executing our vision of building a winning culture in Sacramento.”

The release also confirmed our speculation that Paul Johnson will oversee the Stockton Kings, along with clarifying additional roles and responsibilities.

Wilcox will support General Manager Monte McNair in all facets of front office operations including roster construction, strategy and player evaluation. Jabour will be primarily responsible for overseeing the structure and processes of the scouting department. Johnson will lead Stockton’s front office and have a hand in multiple aspects of Kings basketball operations. These three executives join Chief Strategy Officer Joe Dumars, Assistant General Manager Ken Catanella, Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance Teena Murray and Vice President of Kings Academy and Professional Development Galen Duncan in rounding out McNair’s management team.

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Leo Tochterman
10 days ago

Is this… competence… ??????

Last edited 10 days ago by Leotoch
10 days ago

Our team might suck, but at least we have an all star front office.

Richie J
9 days ago
Reply to  itsjabby

I wouldn’t call this an All-Star FO, but it should be competent.

9 days ago
Reply to  richie88

How about 6th man of the year candidate front office?

Richie J
9 days ago
Reply to  itsjabby

That sounds better.

10 days ago

Wait now just a moment. Are you trying to tell me that the Kings have a full on, fleshed out, experienced front office right now? I don’t recognize what’s in front of me, you see I was pretty young the last time I saw it.

Rob Hessing
10 days ago

This is…encouraging.

10 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

I’ve been trained to feel fear when I feel hope. Damn you Pavlov!

Miles W
10 days ago

This is a great foundation to build upon!

Doug Scott
10 days ago

Wow, I’m impressed

Kevin Lam
10 days ago

So wait, before Monte McNair, did our Front Office consist of Vlade Divac, Peja, and Ken Cantella?

Jesus.

Last edited 10 days ago by Klam
Rob Hessing
10 days ago

T-shirts & additions to the front office on the sane day. Woot!

Kevin Fippin
Admin
10 days ago

Well, i’ll be damned…

Bryan B
10 days ago

WTF, where does that leave Marty Conlon, Travis Mays, and Jason Thompson when it comes to joining the front office?

Fifth Mookie
10 days ago

This might be the best Kings news since the NBA Board of Governors voted down the sale of the team.

I’m blown away honestly.

David Echard
10 days ago

This is impressive. The Best front office personnel I have ever seen constructed in Sac. Next on the to-do list. Blow up this roster.

NT Gadget
10 days ago

I’m scared. That looks like a very legitimate front office, but I’m afraid to hope again.

Dan C
10 days ago

Yes, but can they play the 3?

10 days ago
Reply to  154-98

Super FO, just experienced.

K W
9 days ago
Reply to  154-98

Don’t worry, McNair will sign John Salmons soon.

Alek Bohigian
10 days ago

Um, this seems like a good thing! I don’t know what to do when this franchise makes competent hires like a normal team would. I continue to hope and pray that Vivek has finally figured out how to run an organization. Fingers crossed and hope springs eternal and all that.

Last edited 10 days ago by ForKingsandCountry
Rory Cornell
10 days ago

It’s curious they still don’t have a person in charge of analytics. Luke Bornn is just an advisor at this point, so one would think that his replacement is a role that needs to be filled. Technically, both Catanella and McNair have an analytical background, so they aren’t lacking from that perspective, but I still think there’s a spot open.

Also, holy shit! This team has actual front office depth. McNair, Wilcox and Dumars are, or have been, GMs in this league. One can nitpick their resumes, but this is the most experienced front office of the Vivek era.

David Echard
10 days ago
Reply to  RORDOG

John Salmons is being brought in for the Homerific angle on Analytics. LOL!

Parker Wells
9 days ago
Reply to  Greg

McNair may try to handle that himself, and maybe outsource data collection (maybe from Bornn) when needed. At least for the first year or two.

Matt Bohmbach
10 days ago

What do I do with my hands?!

Ican Hascheezburger
10 days ago

comment image

Ralph Lawrence Reyes
10 days ago

Wow! Color me impressed! A month ago most of us our clamoring a Gupta-Mcnair combo and now we got a Mcnair-Wilcox combo which is still a really good combo! Now if Vivek can just stay away and let this dudes do all the work, we might actually turn this thing around sooner rather than later! Fingers crossed of course!

Phil Jabour is a good hire as well! Might not know him that well but given his time with the sixers and had already a relationship with Mcnair is probably a good thing! Can’t wait for the draft and free agency to start!

Last edited 10 days ago by RAP87
T D
10 days ago

I’m waiting for the 2020 part of this news to kick in.

Like Amick reporting that the Kings hired them on the condition that they each implement 3 of Vivek’s basketball ideas or something.

Adam Dieter
10 days ago
Reply to  1951

BREAKING: Jabour is part of three team trade that lands the Kings Jabour, Al Horford, and Tobias Harris. Kings sending Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Jabari Parker, and 2 future picks and pick swaps to Philly. Lakers land De’Aaron Fox. Detail still coming in.

9 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

i dont need that energy this early in the day

c k
10 days ago

This is the most optimism I can remember on TKH thread… I feel very uncomfortable.

K W
9 days ago
Reply to  cbrody

Yes, the most excited TKH has ever been is the time when the team brought in 3 guys who don’t play basketball. #KangzLyfe

Brian Mantz
10 days ago

We’re hiring capable people? I’m getting nervous that good things might start happening!

Seriously though, fingers crossed on the future. The experience this group brings, and hopefully they’re not just “yes men” types, is quite impressive and refreshing. Cool to see that one has worked his way up from being a scout, maybe this will help in that department more.

In Starz
10 days ago

Looking great. Shocked ownership is shelling out the dough for a complete FO

We now have 4-5 voices with more sense than our previous head of operations (Divac)

On a side note: Some of y’all thought Joerger was about to be hired… Last year not getting a call. This year, shockingly 2 franchises out of the litany of openings he was in the headlines for, the verification may or may not be questionable. Sixers didn’t profess to serious thought. But the Pacers, shocking he was rumored to have been well thought of. But now, sources have Chris Finch as the grunt runner.

another year going by I’m not sure is going to help him, as his famed 39 win team starts to fade from contemporary consciousness and future FOs wonder why he hasn’t been hired

T I
10 days ago
Reply to  Inthestarz

It’s the mark of a weak mind to claim victory before the game’s really started.

But keep flogging that mule. I have no doubt you’ll quietly disappear when Joerger gets his next job.

Fifth Mookie
9 days ago
Reply to  Inthestarz

I like my coaches to be accused sexual assaulters that have no game plan besides looking at tape over guys with a plan that worked

-inthesturs

In Starz
9 days ago
Reply to  TheFifthMookie

No one likes Walton, don’t know wtf your saying

Just because he shouldn’t be written off after a year, doesn’t mean I think he’s a good coach

Murray Bowron
9 days ago
Reply to  Inthestarz

When do the Kings stop paying Joerger? I suspect that has something to do with it too?

T I
9 days ago
Reply to  Murf

At the end of the current season Murf, but GEEZ HE HASN’T GOTTEN ANOTHER JOB YET.

In Starz
9 days ago
Reply to  Otis

An excuse for Joerger no one is paying attention to

No precedent for coaches turning down opportunities unless they are Grade A

In Starz
9 days ago
Reply to  Murf

Why does that matter?

aside from flat out saying he was looking at jobs with his exit interview with Napear on 4/12/19, non hot coaches don’t pick and choose

its an excuse for Joerger

J Man
10 days ago

Monte’s done…for today!

comment image

Rik Smits
10 days ago

That so many comments are overreactions shows how pathetic our previous FO was and how desperate we are for some positive news.

But let’s not forget that as a GM candidate, we wanted no part of Wilcox and rightfully so, because he had some horrible decisions as Atlanta GM. But as an assistant he is great?

I don’t know the other two.

It is somewhat encouraging that we can pay some experienced and apparently competent people, but I have to assume at least 80% of NBA teams have a competent FO.

I hope they are better and smarter than most, because we have lot of ground to make up.

Adam Granger
10 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

All true, but don’t forget that all things being equal each team has a 53% chance of making the playoffs each season. If we can get back into the group of teams where those are actually the odds each season because we have an average front office that isn’t actively sabotaging our chances, that is cause for celebration.

Can you imagine this group picking Bagley over Doncic?

Rik Smits
9 days ago
Reply to  ImJoeKing

Good point.

Actually, I can more imagine this group trading the 3rd pick for the 5th pick and a protected future first round pick. Which may or may not be okay.

Last edited 9 days ago by RikSmits
Adam Granger
9 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

Fair, but even that would be a huge improvement which doesn’t set the team back several years.

Rik Smits
9 days ago
Reply to  ImJoeKing

That is sort of my point.
“Yay! They won’t set the franchise back for years.”
The thresholds we have for feeling positive about this franchise are so low, it’s crazy.
It really resembles a form of Stockholm syndrome.

Adam Granger
9 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

Sacramento Syndrome?

When you’ve been down for a long time and it finally looks like there’s a chance for things to get better… hope springs eternal.

This actually seems like a sign of systematic change. A different approach. I’m not saying we should declare victory yet, and I don’t think anyone is. This could turn out to be PDA 2.0. But a fresh chance at being a competitive basketball team brings me some joy personally. Piss on that if you want.

Rik Smits
9 days ago
Reply to  ImJoeKing

Hey, here’s a quote:

We can discuss. That’s the fun of all this! I’m not chastising you, I’m just having a discussion with you.

Piss on that, if YOU want.

Adam Granger
9 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

It’s a good quote, and yes, we’re just discussing.

I meant the last line as a sentiment of your mood/outlook bringing down the vibe of the room, not to rile you up or express ire. We’re all good here.

Adam Granger
9 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

Love the quote, and yes, we’re just chatting here.

My last sentence was meant express that it seemed like your take/opinion was intending to drag down others’ more positive mood.

It wasn’t meant in a spiteful way or to try and rile you up. But it is a little on the vulgar side, so I can see why you might have taken it that way, and I apologize for my part in that if it did.

Rik Smits
9 days ago
Reply to  ImJoeKing

Clear, thanks. No appologies necessary!

First Last
10 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

Basically Rik we are celebrating a participation award. 🤪

K W
9 days ago
Reply to  Marty

Kids these days…

First Last
9 days ago
Reply to  Greg

I agree with all of that Greg, maybe my celebration reference is more about twitter.

Are things generally more dramatic on twitter? 🤪

Rik Smits
9 days ago
Reply to  Greg

The celebration like mission accomplished reference was to me? Where did I say that?

And what is the “requisite experience” exactly?
Is it giving en Bazemore $ 70 million for 4 years and Dwight Howard $ 70 million for 3 years in 2016? Asking for a friend assistant GM.

People can celebrate whatever they want, just like I can utter words of caution, I presume?

Rik Smits
9 days ago
Reply to  Greg

I’m not chastising you, I’m just having a discussion with you.

A discussion? Where we exchange opposing viewpoints and actually listen to one another? Go away! I thought that was not allowed anymore in America?

Here we go then.

Whatever mistakes he made along the way, that’s experience. Hopefully he’s learned from mistakes.

Sorry, but this is very wishful thinking. Reminds me of these comments about “Vlade learning on the job.”

As for those specific contracts, it’s important to remember that while he held the GM title in 2016, he was not the final decision maker.

Taking this viewpoint, we basically know very little about him, Monte and the other guys, other than that they have “experience”. So did Pete D.

Rob Hessing
9 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

Rik, prior to your comment that people were overreacting, can you cite some examples in this thread of people overreacting? I see one about an “all-star” front office that was perhaps (or perhaps not) a bit tongue-in-cheek, but beyond that I see nothing that was anything near outrageous.

I respect anyone that has a “prove it” mindset when it comes to this organization, but the announcement of these additions to the front office seems encouraging, and that was the vibe that I was getting from the overall tenor of this thread.

Disclaimer – There is a reason that I don’t do Twitter and the such, so if you’re talking about those venues, so be it. I just didn’t really see it in this thread.

Thanks for taking my call.

Rik Smits
9 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

Not just this thread, but also Twitter and elsewhere.

But here you have a few:

This is impressive. The Best front office personnel I have ever seen constructed in Sac.

This might be the best Kings news since the NBA Board of Governors voted down the sale of the team.

I’m blown away honestly.

This is a great foundation to build upon!

And the wurst:

This is… encouraging.

Rob Hessing
9 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

Maybe it’s the difference in how one on-boards the comment?

This might be the best Kings news since the NBA Board of Governors voted down the sale of the team.

Hey, it just might be, right? I mean, I would put the new arena in front of it, but maybe mookie meant since the entire sale saga? I’m hard-pressed to come up with a lot of encouraging Kings news over the past seven years. Maybe how the team played under Joerger in his last season here? It’s a small list, to be sure.

I’m blown away honestly.

As am I. I sure didn’t see them spending money on filling out the front office right now. The credentials and experience of this front office far outweighs what I had envisioned, that’s for sure.

This is a great foundation to build upon!

I think that it has the potential to be a great foundation…or a shitty one, I guess. On paper it sure seems to outdistance any front office under Ranadivé.

I don’t know – I think that the responses have been, for the most part, measured. But maybe I’m just reading it wrong.

Rik Smits
9 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

Are we now at a point where each of us is going to parse the interpretation of comments made by others?

Is it the best news, or was getting the 2nd pick the best news? Or maybe the pick of Fox?

You’re reading it as wrong or right as I am reading it.

Or are you implying that you are a better reader than I am? Because I am the best reader in the world. Everybody says so. All good readers in the US want to work for me because I am so much better at it. It’s true.

When it comes to reading, I have put on my big boy pants a long time ago, Rob. What are you wearing? I thought so.

Richie J
9 days ago
Reply to  Greg

Calling this an All-Star FO feels a bit like a “Mission Accomplished” statement.

John Navickas
9 days ago
Reply to  richie88

It was tongue in cheek. The feel that somehow Vivek And Co will try and sell tickets based on his ASFO, and bright future. Akin to Young Superteam.

That said these guys are high floor guys, especially when we have Vlade’s whiteboard as comparison.

Richie J
9 days ago
Reply to  CoreyBrewersD

You weren’t the only person to call this an All-Star FO.

Darren Van Blois
10 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

he seems to be a qualified assistant, and he was around for the 2nd half of the Hawks’ 10 year playoff streak. I like that all three of these guys have scouting experience. Just in time for the 10 in-person draft prospect workouts, which can begin this week.

Eric W
9 days ago
Reply to  eddie41

Yeah, it’s actually nice that a team that has been famously short on scouting just imported a good amount of both scouting experience overall and, presumedly, people that have been spending the past XX months scouting this draft for other teams. Which would give them good insight as to the individual prospects, as well as what other teams are thinking and where draftees may be slotting in.

Fifth Mookie
9 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

Yup, all true. The bar was so low it was in the subsurface. No idea how any of this works or doesn’t work, but it at least *sounds and looks* like the things competent people would do.

First Last
9 days ago
Reply to  TheFifthMookie

I keep it simple.

They’re building a competent foundation, which hopefully gives them a better chance of finding the necessary two superstars to compete.

For most teams, the building of a foundation is the easy part, it’s acquiring the two superstars that seems so difficult. The Kangz lack of a foundation caused them to bypass a chance at grabbing one of those obvious superstars on draft day. Because you know, big men.

Last edited 9 days ago by Marty
Richie J
9 days ago
Reply to  Marty

Bagley>Luka was incredibly awful, but what made it even worse was that it was pretty clear that Bagley wasn’t the best big available when he was drafted.

Rob Hessing
9 days ago
Reply to  Marty

I guess the question for me is whether the organization is better off after these additions than it was a day ago, or a month ago, or three months ago. I think the answer is yes, but to your point, time will tell.

Richie J
9 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

There are definitely overreactions in this thread, but this is a major improvement compared to the previous FO.

John Navickas
10 days ago

Now they can sell tickets based on an all star Front Office, and FUTURE playoffs. Damn another FOMO sell!

T I
10 days ago

Now we’re cooking!

And nice to see the Kings aren’t, after all, digging change out of the couch cushions to buy a six pack of Brown Derby.

10 days ago

Solid hires. Looking forward to the draft this year.

Darren Van Blois
10 days ago

This feels real now. I think the team will build something good.

Eric W
9 days ago

I wonder how Jabour’s inclusion will influence a potential Sixers deal. He’ll likely have strong opinions about the value of someone like Horford or Harris. He may also have some ideas on lesser known additions to the deal. Like, he could LOVE Korkmaz, and really push for him to be included.

Adam Dieter
9 days ago

It sure does seem that a Philly/Kings trade is destiny at this point.

andy sims
9 days ago

I guess we can stop talking about Ranadivé trying to do everything on the cheap. A crew like this doesn’t generally offer discounts.

Jerry Reynolds
9 days ago
Reply to  andy_sims

What teams were bidding on any of these people? Most knew that Houston was under pressure to change things as was Philly ! Wes was clearly looking for a job ! Does seem solid hires but time will determine the level of talent ! Color me sort of optimistic !

andy sims
9 days ago
Reply to  rockbottom

Okay, okay, just calm down. Take my wallet, you’ll get no trouble from me.

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