Earlier this week I wrote a post on who the Kings next head coach should be, championing a campaign for Mike Budenholzer, the Spurs longtime assistant coach. For years I've gone to sleep praying the Magoofs would hire him however a great coach is made by a great pairing in the front office, and if Budenholzer is hired the Kings would be wise to bring in an analytics based GM to pair him with, and Troy Weaver should be the man.
Commonly known as the man who got Carmelo Anthony to Syracuse against all odds Weaver has established himself as possibly the best assistant GM in the league garnering countless compliments from his incomaparable boss Sam Presti. Weaver has been one of the most crucial pieces to the Thunder's successes. Weavers jobs include the team’s player personnel matters including NBA Draft preparation, player free agency and summer league rosters all things that can be pointed out as a core reason for the Thunder's success. Weaver has also seeked out analytics in his Draft preparations in unmatched ways
Here's Ben Alamar former analytics consultant for the Thunder who worked under Weaver talking with Zach Lowe about the Thunder's drafting of Russell Westbrook. Although Alamar did much of the research Weaver sought for the research being done and is commonly given credit for the majority of the Thunders countless stellar draft picks.
The Thunder Almost Drafted Brook Lopez Instead of Russell Westbrook | Zach Lowe and Ben Alamar (via GrantlandNetwork)
Weaver has the best chance of being the next R.C. Buford or Presti level GM in the league, and in a league that has been becoming more and more about numbers, teams that are suceeding are doing so having the perfect balance of the eye test and unmatched analytics. Weaver prescribes to that.
Weaver pulled out his name to last years vacant Blazers, Magic and Jazz GM positions and was supposedly the first choice for all of them but with new ownership, the excitement of Sacramento could pull Weaver the Kings way. It might be a tough sell but they should do whatever it takes to get him in the door
A Budenholzer/Weaver pairing has the making of a duo comparable down the line to a Buford/Popovich or a Doc Rivers/Ainge a perfect marriage. Both come from arguably the smartest two teams in the league both, are best in their assistant positions and comparing how things are run the Spurs and Thunder speak the same language. They are simple, not noise filled basketball personalities and might not always make a great decision but will rarely make a bad one. Who ever puts this pair together could be seeing the next great front office to coaching staff pairing.
It's time that the Kings become one of the smart teams and buy into the science of what works and what doesn't. They have pieces and many tradable assets but they must put down a foundation that a single player cant destroy. It is the only way to succeed in the league today and players however defiant seek structure more then anything else. The Spurs brought in Boris Diaw and Stephan Jackson two of the biggest problem children in the league and have been able to zip both's mouths and get the best out of them. Players will buy in if they think its worth it, and right now its not. A Budenholzer/Weaver pairing would set up the organization as something stable, smart and secure and could create my dreams for this team into reality.