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Kings Pulse: Evaluating Monte McNair and Golden State & Dallas Game Notes

Richard Ivanowski rejoins the show to discuss Monte McNair's first season as the Sacramento Kings' General Manager.

As the Sacramento Kings' season winds down, we had our old friend/Kings Pulse OG Richard Ivanowski on the pod to discuss Monte McNair's first season as the Sacramento Kings' General Manager. We discussed our mutual disappointment of letting Bogdan Bogdanvoic leave for the Atlanta Hawks - since coming back from a knee injury in March, Bogi is averaging 17.7 points,  3.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 47% shooting, and 44% from deep.

We also discussed Monte's uninspired free agency period, and talked about how much credit McNair deserves for drafting Tyrese Haliburton. We ended the conversation with a debate of how optimistic or pessimistic we are about McNair moving forward.

We also discussed the Kings' loss to the Golden State Warriors and their win over the Dallas Mavericks. We talked about Tyrese Haliburton's elite 4th quarter against the Warriors (which Brenden covered in depth in an article) and discussed what we hope to see from Haliburton in these games with De'Aaron Fox sidelined for health and safety protocols. Haliburton's high-usage performance against the Warriors showcased new levels of aggression from the rookie, something we should very much hope continues in these next few games. We also chatted about Richaun Holmes' return to offensive excellence, and the play of Chimezie Metu and Damian Jones, who may both be making a case for roster spots next season.

How do you evaluate Monte McNair's first offseason as general manager? Do you trust him moving forward? Let us know in the comments!

The Kings Pulse podcast is available on all major listening platforms.

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Kosta
April 27, 2021 9:30 am

Gap Year, or Gap Decade?

Want-to-be-gm
April 27, 2021 9:51 am

Management deserves a great deal of credit for drafting Haliburton. They get a small markdown for the botched Bogi trade but get credit for not overpaying for him. They also get credit for not making a dumb free agent overpayment signings. They get a big markdown for their performance before the trade deadline. Overall grade at this point is a C/C+.

Their real grade will be based on their performance in the upcoming draft and subsequently what they do in free agency and the trade market. The decisions they make this offseason may determine the Kings fate for the next 5-10 years. Let’s hope they might the right decisions.

Some things they should do

  • draft the best player available and don’t worry about position
  • If they fire Walton hire Lindsay Gottlieb or someone out of the box. Don’t hire another NBA retread.
  • Don’t overpay for Holmes. 3 years at $30 mil with a team option in year 3 should be the absolute max.
  • Free agent signings should primarily be players near the veteran minimum like the Whiteside signing or young flyers on small 2 year contracts with the second year a team option,
  • Attempt to move Buddy Hield without taking back a liability.
rockbottom
April 27, 2021 10:07 am
Reply to  Want-to-be-gm

Hawks did not overpay for Bogi ! Kings let a valuable asset leave ! May never totally recover and same thing could occur if Holmes leaves ! Agree, a huge off season for McNair! If not , another run at the 10th spot in the west !

vladefather
April 27, 2021 10:25 am
Reply to  rockbottom

A healthy Bogi is absolutely thriving in Atlanta!

Hawks-rumors-Bogdan-Bogdanovic-could-sign-4-year-72-million-deal-with-Atlanta-Thumbnail.jpg
Last edited 20 days ago by todd perkins
andy_sims
April 27, 2021 10:40 am
Reply to  vladefather

The adjective is doing a ton of work here. That contract would be an absolute albatross in Sacramento, and if you think that the cap situation is in knots now, toss on another $54 million over the next three years at a position of strength for Sacramento.

WizsSox
April 27, 2021 10:57 am
Reply to  andy_sims

Absolutely…Bogi is playing well now. He was pretty streaky with the Kings. If the question was straight up, retain Bogi for 18 million or Buddy at 20+ and Monte simply chose Buddy then there is a place to bitch about it possibly. But it’s not a one or the other choice in a vacuum.

We don’t know, but it doesn’t seem like there are tons of takers for Buddy right now or past summer without likely taking back a similar bad contract. So it’s not like McNair simply chose Buddy over Bogi without there being other circumstances affecting the decision.

He also knew he had Hali, and hoping he would be the other starting guard for future opposite Fox. Probably shouldn’t pay 18 million + for a 6th man type guard (Bogi). That’s how you get bad results to begin with…aka Buddy’s contract.

Last edited 20 days ago by WizsSox
Otis
April 27, 2021 10:59 am
Reply to  WizsSox

I think the Hali thing is a red herring. This franchise is really in a position to complain about having too much depth at a position? It reminds me of the “we could let IT walk because we’ve got McCallum” conversation.

It turns out Bogi is Bogi. A pretty darn good NBA player. The Kings need more of those.

Last edited 20 days ago by Otis
WizsSox
April 27, 2021 11:04 am
Reply to  Otis

I wouldn’t say it’s a position of complaining, rather a position of intelligently using space. Yes Bogi looks every bit worth 18 million at this moment over the last 1-2 months, on the Hawks. What do we think his value would look like if he was on this shit show of a Kings team this year, splitting minutes with Hali? If he is rocking career stats of 12-13 pts on 37-38% from 3 (Career stats), is that a 18 million dollar player?

I don’t think it would look that great and suddenly you now have 2 big shooting guard contracts of questionable value.

Otis
April 27, 2021 11:09 am
Reply to  WizsSox

He might look like a tradeable asset, either at the last deadline, or this offseason. And this team wouldn’t be quite the trainwreck it is this season with a better player on the roster. Better players play better basketball, and this team is clearly still short on guys who can run an offense.

Bogi’s been a solid player in this league since he arrived, the only real question was his health. Why should we assume he would have shit the bed on this roster? Solid players like Fox, Holmes and Barnes haven’t.

Last edited 20 days ago by Otis
WizsSox
April 27, 2021 11:14 am
Reply to  Otis

I didn’t insinuate he would shit the bed with the Kings (cited his career stats with Kings)…I think it unlikely he would play well as he is now with a better team, coach and supporting cast in Atlanta.

I also don’t see Bogi, getting 35 minutes a game and starting to put up those stats he has gotten the last 20 games. So it’s less shitting the bed and more about less opportunity and playing for a worse team. That leads to a less valuable asset and at 18 million, I feel a neutral asset at best.

Last edited 20 days ago by WizsSox
Otis
April 27, 2021 11:19 am
Reply to  WizsSox

Yeah, I’m just going to agree to disagree. Atlanta was a “worse” team coming into this season.

Teams that actively retain their positive assets tend to improve.

Carl
April 27, 2021 11:31 am
Reply to  Otis

I’m not sure Bogi is a positive asset at his current salary, and as you said, the Kings already have two underwater assets. Adding a third isn’t what I would do, but I don’t vehemently disagree with your point. Signining Bogi and dealing one or both of the other two is perfectly valid. (Signing Bogi shouldn’t really dictate that, but that’s a different discussion).

One other point is that I don’t think Hali ever gets off the bench this season with this coach and Bogi on the team. Now, maybe he does if Bogi gets hurt, but then you’ve got an underwater asset sitting on the bench, which isn’t good either.

Otis
April 27, 2021 11:35 am
Reply to  Carl

Bogi’s fair value at his salary, unless he’s injured. That’s generally been the concern.

And I noted above the names of the pretty meh-to-crappy guards that have secured over 2,300 minutes on the roster this season. Haliburton would have been fine. Buddy might have been screwed (caveat again, with a decent head coach).

Last edited 20 days ago by Otis
Carl
April 27, 2021 12:13 pm
Reply to  Otis

I don’t see any universe where Haliburton takes Buddy’s minutes with this coach, and I think if the front office could (or would) trade Buddy, that would have happened by the deadline. Here’s hoping that will happen over the offseason. I’m not holding my breath.

Otis
April 27, 2021 12:14 pm
Reply to  Carl

Yeah, same. Still, I’m going to root for process. Hopefully McNair gets the go-ahead to replace our coach for next season.

rockbottom
April 28, 2021 7:21 am
Reply to  WizsSox

Playoff Hawks can find a lot of minutes for Bogi but Kings could not ! You can always trade good players and Bogi is one ! No quality franchise loses assets for nothing ! Fact

andy_sims
April 27, 2021 11:15 am
Reply to  WizsSox

I don’t understand what you mean in relating Hield’s contract to Bobo’s, since McNair had nothing to do with Hield’s re-signing.

WizsSox
April 27, 2021 1:01 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

What I was getting at is that it seems some on here equate the non match of Bobo as choosing Buddy over Bobo and what an idiot McNair was for not matching. It makes it seem like matching Bobo and then dumping Buddy is necessarily an easy proposition…we just don’t know based on Buddy’s perceived worth.

My point was he didn’t actively choose Buddy over Bobo on similar contracts. McNair was dumped with the problem of Buddy’s deal and in his mind, chose not to compound it with Bobo. I think fair takes can think it was wrong not to match, I’m just not inclined to agree based on Bobo’s past performance with this team and other circumstances.

Carl
April 27, 2021 12:37 pm
Reply to  WizsSox

We don’t know, but it doesn’t seem like there are tons of takers for Buddy right now or past summer without likely taking back a similar bad contract.

I’m not sure I see a situation where this changes. Maybe a better coach gets better results (the last one certainly did) but maybe Buddy is declining, or unhappy, and this what the team is going to get.

It’s also no sure thing Walton is gone at the end of the season. I don’t think his performance has much to do with that decision. I do remember a quote from someone (media or McNair?) that Walton would be the coach this season, which at least implies that the front office might be given a choice in the offseason.

Otis
April 27, 2021 10:57 am
Reply to  andy_sims

It’s not getting any easier to contort yourself on this one Andy – keeping the underwater assets and letting the fair value assets walk for nothing isn’t a great way of doing business.

If Bogi was still here, Barnes and Hield would be the albatross contracts.

andy_sims
April 27, 2021 12:08 pm
Reply to  Otis

You’re making some pretty substantial leaps here.

The first being that the “underwater assets” (I assume you mean Hield & Barnes) weren’t made available in trade at any point since the offseason. The decision to keep them seems to have more to do with each having contracts that predate McNair, rather than some insistence on his part that they not be dealt for any reason. There’s also a fair debate to be had as to their actual respective values as compared to contracts. Not great? Maybe not. Horrifying and franchise-crippling? Also maybe not.

The second is that $72 million for four years for an aging, injury-prone player who wasn’t likely to be a part of whatever is next for the Kings constitutes “fair value.” Obviously, the Milwaukee deal would have been a preferable outcome, but since that didn’t happen, the way it played out is the better of the two bad choices that remained.

Bogi was fun to watch at times, but it’s important to remember that this franchise lost a ton of games while he got substantial minutes. I’m not sanguine that another year under Walton would have changed any of that, so moving on felt like the right choice when considering the full length of the contract.

Otis
April 27, 2021 12:18 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I wonder if Atlanta’s upset right now to have an “aging, injury-prone player”.

it’s important to remember that this franchise lost a ton of games while he got substantial minutes.

I’ll wait for your diatribe towards McNair for not trading Fox yet and giving him the max extension.

andy_sims
April 27, 2021 2:01 pm
Reply to  Otis

I would imagine that they had some mild upset when he missed a third of the season. “injury-prone” in quotes as some sort of slam is priceless. He had some great stretches in Sacramento, but his availability could not be relied upon.

Best of luck to him, but I wouldn’t want to need to put too much reliance in a player his age remaining healthy, particularly since it’s a safe bet that once international play returns, he will be indulging himself.

Your comparison of Fox to Bobo in is laughable on its face. There isn’t a GM in the league that doesn’t give Fox a max deal.

Carl
April 27, 2021 12:33 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

The second is that $72 million for four years for an aging, injury-prone player

I’m also not sure Bogi is fair value, but he’s the same age as Buddy, is cheaper and at this point, he’s likely also the better player. Agree that he’s hurt more. I would have leaned toward letting him go, but can see both sides of the argument.

Last edited 20 days ago by Carl
vladefather
April 27, 2021 10:58 am
Reply to  andy_sims

I agree with you about the contract and cap problem. McNair didn’t walk into an easy situation. I would rather have Bogi than Buddy on this team, but that wasn’t an option.

Carl
April 27, 2021 11:24 am
Reply to  andy_sims

Yeah, have to agree on the Bogi deal. I’m not sure it was even a fair value deal from Atlanta’s perspective, but it would have been a problem for the Kings, especially with Haliburton replacing Bogi’s production at a fraction of the cost. Not to mention that Hali would likely never have gotten off the bench this season with Bogi in town.

Otis made the point that Barnes and Buddy would be the albatross deals with Bogi here, and I think that’s true either way. The team should have move on from both, but again, I think they’re being passive in hopes for a star deal that may never arrive.

Holmes is basically in the same situation as Bogi was last season. Monte and crew can reasonably blame Vlade for not dealing Bogi during the season, since Vlade would have retained him and McNair obviously wasn’t going to.

However, if Holmes leaves for nothing, that’s a dumb mistake for McNair. You at least need to think six months ahead when you’re making moves. If you can’t or don’t want to retain a guy, that’s fine but get some value for him at the deadline.

Otis
April 27, 2021 11:28 am
Reply to  Carl

Not to mention that Hali would likely never have gotten off the bench this season with Bogi in town.

Nope. Cory Joseph, GR3, Wright, Davis, DaQuan and Kyle Guy have combined for 2,335 minutes on this roster. There would have been plenty of minutes for Haliburton to develop. Unless we’re feeling that any of those guys should be part of the future of this franchise.

Only coaching malpractice (a distinct possibility, to be fair) would have hindered Haliburton’s development.

Carl
April 27, 2021 12:05 pm
Reply to  Otis

Nope. Cory Joseph, GR3, Wright, Davis, DaQuan and Kyle Guy have combined for 2,335 minutes on this roster.

Let’s say Bogi plays all of Haliburton’s minutes.

  • I believe Joseph would have played those 944 minutes anyway.
  • All of Wright and Davis 623 minutes are after the deadline.
  • Guy played more than 10 minutes four times this season.
  • Robinson (369 minutes) outweighs Haliburton by 40 pounds, so I’m not convinced the coach would have replaced the minutes Robinson played at small forward in particular with Haliburton.

At best, I think Joseph is dealt at the deadline, for something other than shooting guards, and we start to see Haliburton playing meaningful minutes over the last several weeks.

Last edited 20 days ago by Carl
RORDOG
April 27, 2021 12:10 pm
Reply to  Carl

To be fair, they essentially benched Bjelly in favor of developmental minutes for Bagley. I assume they would’ve made the same concession for Haliburton.

andy_sims
April 27, 2021 12:12 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

There was also some weight given to the fact that Bjelica was absolutely terrible whenever he played in the first couple of months.

Carl
April 27, 2021 12:28 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

I also think the Bagley family’s whining played a role in Bagley’s minutes, and that Bagley himself was likely equally unhappy behind the scenes. No I can’t prove it, and yes I know what this says about the org.

andy_sims
April 27, 2021 2:17 pm
Reply to  Carl

As terrible as Luke Walton is, I don’t actually believe that he gives two shits about what a player’s parent has to say about his lineups.

andy_sims
April 27, 2021 2:15 pm
Reply to  Carl

The Early Bird option is something like $12 million per year for three or four years, I think? Assuming I actually have that right, even if you had room, how much higher than that would you be willing to go to retain Holmes?

I absolutely love Richaun, but you still need to acquire a legit center if you keep him. I do believe that he’s capable of stretching the floor, but he’s not demonstrated it. That could be a coaching matter, but it seems like everyone on the roster has a green light to chuck with abandon. Given his free throw percentage, I’d be amazed if he couldn’t manage the league average on threes.

As a backup center on a good team, he’s a bargain at practically any price. For the Kings, I don’t think you can get a lot better with Holmes starting in the middle, unless you have a power forward with real size, and that can stretch defenses. If he was 7′, I’d back up the Brinks truck. He’s listed at 6’10” and I’m not convinced that he’s even 6’9″. For all of his strength and skill, he’s simply at a disadvantage in many matchups.

I hope that something can happen in the offseason that allows him to stay, but that would also involve acquiring a bigger player so that Holmes can play more at the four than the five.

eddie41
April 27, 2021 12:34 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Right. I think when it comes to Bogi, you have to look at the whole picture. Predraft, when no one imagined Hali would drop to 12, it was clear the team should have resigned Bogi, and perhaps the team would have drafted a guy at another position like Saddiq Bey. After getting Hali at 12, I can see both arguments about Bogi. I’m not upset about letting Bogi go because of how well Haliburton is playing. He’s getting a lot of 4th quarter minutes, the team is putting the ball in his hands.

BestHyperboleEver
April 27, 2021 3:32 pm
Reply to  eddie41

My issue with the Bogdan situation really has nothing to do with their production. It’s all about the Kings continued inability to get value for their assets. For Bogdan, IMO, a lot of that falls on Vlade. Though Monte’s FO certainly bungled a bit of it as well. If they don’t retain Richaun this offseason, I’ll feel the same way.

WizsSox
April 27, 2021 11:08 am
Reply to  rockbottom

Fully recover from missing the playoffs 15 years in a row? Uh oh…Are the Kings in danger of becoming bad because of this move???

Last edited 20 days ago by WizsSox
Otis
April 27, 2021 11:11 am
Reply to  WizsSox

Losing Bogi isn’t the end of the world, clearly.

But you just talked yourself into not making any single move in the future, since short of acquiring a superstar (LOL) it won’t theoretically prevent the team from continuing to be “bad”.

WizsSox
April 27, 2021 1:10 pm
Reply to  Otis

Geez… I was sarcastically joking…based on the absurd comment, that “the Kings may never fully recover” from the Bogi non deal. My point was, recover from what? They are already bottom of the league 15 years and counting.

rockbottom
April 28, 2021 7:30 am
Reply to  WizsSox

Losing Bogi and possibly Holmes for nothing means more of the same and two years away from two years away ! Good franchises keep assets that other franchises value ! To play or trade !

Carl
April 27, 2021 10:50 am

Regarding the front office, something Kyle Shanahan said at his most recent presser stuck with me in regards to the 49ers philosophy versus what I see with the Kings. He said that we know we want to get a starting QB, and basically that we could wait around and see what happens in the the free agent or trade market, or we could go out and make an aggressive move to get the player we want.

I believe that the Kings are looking at a star (Chris Paul) or superstar (Kyrie Irving) trade as the only way to be relevant. They are not and will not tank. They won’t be bad enough to get a high first round pick. They are going to look at incremental improvement otherwise, and will cycle through low level guys. But a superstar trade is it.

Judging by media reports, the Kings had opportunities to move players at the deadline, and they chose not to do that. Right now, it looks like they’re doing the opposite of the 49ers. They look to me like they’re going to passively wait until the trade market comes to them. The Kings don’t have a lot of assets, and certainly have some baggage. It’s not easy when you don’t have assets. That being said, I’m not in favor of passive management of a bad team, or shuffling around mid-level players without meaningful improvement.

Make no mistake, if Shanahan and Lynch miss, they’re going to lose their jobs. But better to be aggressive about trying to improve then waiting around, saying no to everything and hoping something is going to land in your lap.

Last edited 20 days ago by Carl
Kayte_Hunter_Fan_club
April 27, 2021 11:48 am
Reply to  Carl

There”s a lot of good points in that post. I’ll just say this, for whatever moves the Kings make, the criteria should not just be improvement it should be does it position us better for a championship. Kudo’s to the Suns this year but I don’t think what they’ve done is sustainable and I don’t think they have a chance in hell to win a championship this year. So the Kings need a sustainable model and the moves they make have to be made with championship contending criteria for the future.

Carl
April 27, 2021 12:43 pm

I agree in regard to the Suns, but I think the Kings are going to take any improvement they can. I don’t think they would break the bank to trade for Chris Paul himself in two years, but if they can make the same deal as the Suns did, for short term improvement, they absolutely do that. Even getting to .500 is an enormous accomplishment for this franchise.

Last edited 20 days ago by Carl
WizsSox
April 27, 2021 1:23 pm

I don’t really understand this. What is a sustainable model for championship contending? Does Toronto regret going for it a few years ago with Kawhi? 2011 Dallas regret it? Were the Lebron led, Miami Heat sustainable when it only lasted 4 years? Warriors and Durant?

The 20 year Spurs type “every single year championship window” is extremely rare…Most championship caliber teams especially in today’s player movement era, can create a max 2-3 year window to go for it. Sometimes only 1 year. Suns are an ankle tweak or so away from being right there and having a chance. What’s wrong with that?

Especially based upon Kings recent history…give me 2 seasons of this current Suns season and I would be extremely happy, even if the Kings went back to mediocrity after that.

BestHyperboleEver
April 27, 2021 2:44 pm
Reply to  WizsSox

We have an odd tendency to mock successful teams. Obviously, the goal is a championship, but I would absolutely kill for a little Pacers-style success right now.

Kayte_Hunter_Fan_club
April 27, 2021 3:14 pm

Nobody is mocking the Suns. A little pacer style success that’s hopefully leading to something bigger would be nice. A one year blimp up and then a decade of mediocrity, you can have that.

BestHyperboleEver
April 27, 2021 3:27 pm

Obviously we’ll see how they deal with Paul leaving/declining over the next couple years, but I don’t think it’s a given that they pull a post-Butler Wolves move.

Kayte_Hunter_Fan_club
April 27, 2021 4:19 pm

Only time will tell but I will stick with my predictions. It’s hard to see how they can improve from this point forward with a low draft position, no cap space, and a star veteran who’s skills will be diminishing. There’s always the chance they can get lucky late in the draft or someone makes a trade blunder with them but they don’t have a sustainable model right now.

rockbottom
April 28, 2021 7:36 am

Kings may be years from mediocre ! Add to 15 ! Suns are terrific now when Kings get to that level let me know and can than discuss the so called blimp !

Kayte_Hunter_Fan_club
April 27, 2021 3:13 pm
Reply to  WizsSox

Well yeah if you want to compare them to the Kings but that’s a pretty low standard to use as a basis of comparison. The Suns are being carried by a great player in his late 30’s who I doubt can play at this level much longer. I predict a first or second round exit and next years team will not have nearly the success as this team. You want to be competitive over a long period of time or if you win a championship then a one hit wonder is fine. The Suns will ultimately accomplish neither. They won’t come close to winning a championship nor will they be competitive over a number of years. We shall see.

WizsSox
April 28, 2021 6:58 pm

That’s fantastic…The Sun will accomplish neither…won’t come close to winning a championship nor will be competitive over a number of years.

Those seem like pretty absolute statements.

But nice you end with “we shall see”. Way to cover the bases.

Keyhole
April 27, 2021 11:12 am

I think within the parameters he had in the free agency deadline – he did well. I really am not a stats guy so my opinion is essentially worthless, but since when has that stopped anyone on the internet??? From watching games the bench seems much improved.

andy_sims
April 27, 2021 11:29 am

I’m thirty minutes in, and there has been a lot of suggestion that McNair had the opportunity to trade any or all of Hield, Barnes, Bagley, and Holmes, and that the failure to do so was key to the evaluation that his first year has been a failure. I’m hoping the last thirty-five minutes sheds some light on any or all of these unconsummated deals.

I don’t really know how to grade McNair this year, and may not really know for some time. Basing an evaluation on suppositions about the trade deadline strikes me as flimsy, and not really up to the standards of the site.

It’s also amusing that McNair deserves no credit for making the obvious choice in selecting Haliburton at twelve. I would think that the most knowledgeable Kings’ fans among us wouldn’t put such a deep discount on making the obviously correct choice.

Carl
April 27, 2021 12:48 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

It’s also amusing that McNair deserves no credit for making the obvious choice in selecting Haliburton at twelve. I would think that the most knowledgeable Kings’ fans among us wouldn’t put such a deep discount on making the obviously correct choice.

It is one of the first times in many, many years that the Kings didn’t do the opposite of the right thing, but I’m not sure doing absolutely everything wrong should be the bar for evaluating this front office.

andy_sims
April 27, 2021 2:23 pm
Reply to  Carl

I didn’t put the bar there. And I don’t think that selecting Haliburton means that McNair is a genius.

My feeling that Haliburton could go in the top five, and could not possibly fall lower than eight. Assuming five was his ceiling to be picked, that gives you six general managers who failed to make what, to me then, and in retrospect, seemed like a no-brainer. Like I said, it doesn’t make McNair a genius, but it’s hardly the big nothing that’s being thrown around.

WizsSox
April 27, 2021 1:13 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

comment image

BestHyperboleEver
April 27, 2021 12:08 pm

I feel like there isn’t a whole lot to say yet. At some point he’ll have to try to make some bigger moves and those usually come with greater risk. But so far, he hasn’t done anything especially bad that any competent GM wouldn’t have done or especially good any competent GM wouldn’t have done. As George would say, “right in that meaty part of the curve. Not showing off. Not falling behind.” Which, applying the usual Kangz curve, means he’s been excellent.

eddie41
April 27, 2021 1:23 pm

i think McNair has disclosed more that was not mentioned. First, he made Hield available in the offseason for draft capital. It’s safe to assume that no offers were made for Hield that would not have involved receiving an albatross contract in return. Second, he explained his mid season trades as “looking for value”. I think that’s a good approach, especially when filling out the roster. One of those guys (Harkless) is making a case to be a resigned and possibly start at the 3 next year. If they can get an average nba SF on an economical deal, that’s pretty good. I also think McNair should get credit for not trading away Barnes for a couple scrubs. I would think that even the pro-tankers here will want to win next year and the year after. Barnes is a productive forward and can help the team do that.

RORDOG
April 27, 2021 2:52 pm

I think one’s opinion of McNair’s tenure comes down how you define “gap year.” As I’ve said before, to me that means “keep our powder dry, and see what we have before making any significant moves.” So they were never going to fire sale to maximize their lottery odds, and they also weren’t gonna go all-in on building around Fox this season. If you look at the collection of transactions through that lens, then it starts to make more sense.

Richard dismisses the fact that McNair has a plan outright, so each transaction is judged based on if it fits the plan Richard would have if he was the GM. He could ultimately be right about McNair’s chances of becoming a successful GM, but I still think the analysis is flawed without first understanding what McNair’s plan is.

BestHyperboleEver
April 27, 2021 3:16 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

I agree with you about McNair’s plan. The challenge with that approach though, is determining when it transitions from “keeping your powder dry” to simply being an unwillingness/inability to make substantive moves. Keep your powder dry is only a good strategy when you successfully identify the right move and successfully pull it off. Personally, I don’t think we can surmise a whole lot about McNair as a GM yet aside from, perhaps, that he isn’t reckless. I have no real issue with him so far. Now, if all we’ve seen from him by, say, this time next year is the same type of tinkering around the edges of the roster, then I might start to get a bit twitchy.

RORDOG
April 27, 2021 6:46 pm

Yeah paralysis by analysis is always a concern. I think the initial decision to make this season a “gap year”was correct though; especially when you consider that Fox had a lot of unanswered questions going into this year. Last offseason, I thought it was a no-brainer to give Fox a max extension, but I was still unsure if Fox was a player worth building around. At this point I think he’s proven the answer is “Yes, but he’s not the type of superstar that can single-handedly will you to the playoffs.” That means you have to create an Fox-centric ecosystem for Fox to thrive.

Also, I’ve decided to replace “culture” with “ecosystem” because I think it better explains what needs to be done without all the dumb “does culture even matter” hot take discourse. Fox can be the 1A on a championship contender, IMO, if they a) build a offensive/defensive system around his strengths/weakness, b) bring in players that compliment his unique skillset and hide his obvious deficiencies, and c) accept the fact that he’ll never really be the “alpha dog” even if he is the “head of the snake” (I’m a huge mixed metaphor fan FYI).

In a perfect world, your franchise player wouldn’t require those caveats, but it is what it is. Fox’s offensive impact is great enough that it’s worth the risk. Throw in the fact that Haliburton was almost built in a lab to be Fox’s backcourt partner, and I think there’s now enough data at this point to go all-in on the “build around Fox” path. If I were to guess that’s why McNair didn’t gut the team at the deadline for future assets that won’t/can’t help them get to the playoffs next season. On the flipside, it’s hard to know if they were gun shy about bringing in an impact player to add to the core at the deadline. Gordon and Vuc were the only two impact players that were moved though, so that kinda makes me feel like the Collins’s of the world were off the market.

So short story long, I agree there’s downside to the do nothing approach, but I think it would’ve been imprudent to go full tank or full Fox until Fox proved which direction was the right one. Now he has, and McNair needs to act accordingly.

Kingsguru21
April 28, 2021 12:45 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

This is quite likely your best comment in some time Rory.

Last edited 19 days ago by Kingsguru21
Bill2455
April 27, 2021 6:10 pm

McNair has not accomplished anything any semi-knowledgeable fan could do.

rockbottom
April 28, 2021 7:42 am
Reply to  Bill2455

He took over a bad team with a bad roster and it still is !

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