Monte McNair has been through a whirlwind since he was hired as Sacramento’s new general manager.
He had to fill out his front office and get to know the existing staff with the Kings, all under the constraints of the pandemic. Then, the season began sooner than expected, and his new group had to handle the draft, trades, and free agency within a few days of each other.
Through it all, McNair says the “most fun” he’s had was when the Kings were deciding whether or not to match Bogdan Bogdanovic’s offer sheet from the Atlanta Hawks, as he told Adrian Wojnarowski on “The Woj Pod”:
“We looked at a lot of different options between sign-and-trade, obviously trying to sign [Bogdanovic] as well, and then ultimately the offer sheet decision that we were faced with from Atlanta. But we went through our process. Once we got the offer sheet, we sat down. We had, whatever it was, little more than 48 hours to go through it and it was, let’s put all the factors on the board, and let’s go through them. And not once was the factor anything other than what is going to be best for this team and this organization going forward.
“And it was a tough decision, but obviously ultimately we ended up not matching. It was certainly stressful, but probably the most fun one I’ve had so far in just like all the components that went into it and the compressed time frame and having our guys in our room and on Zoom kind of working through all that and trying to come to the best decision.”
It’s clear that McNair really likes doing the grunt work of dissecting deals from every angle and going through the process of figuring out what will work for each situation. He likes the details, and it doesn’t come as a surprise that digging into the Bogdanovic decision — which had a lot of levels — was an enjoyable experience for him.
McNair also went into some of the reasons why the Kings elected not to match, and it seems like the NBA Draft played a big role in that outcome. He also said he wasn’t worried about starting his tenure by saying good-bye to a fan favorite without getting any return because there was a bigger picture at play.
“We were pretty focused just on what was going to be the best thing. We had just gone through the draft and really been surprised and excited that Tyrese Haliburton fell to us, and that kinda also gave us a little extra push that, hey we’ve got this guy coming in. He’s a 1 and 2, we’re really excited about him to get him at 12, so all those kind of things came into play. There’s so many decisions we’re gonna make, and I guess maybe it was one of the first and one of the biggest, but ultimately I think what I took from Houston is you continue to make what you think is the right and best decision, and eventually they’ll add up for you.”
Haliburton’s preseason performance has certainly validated the franchise’s faith in him thus far, and it’s easy to see why everyone is so excited about having him in a Kings uniform. Although it hurt to watch Bogdanovic leave, and for nothing, knowing that the same front office also picked Haliburton lends some credibility to the operation.
McNair picked a good player to tie his fate to in Haliburton, and there’s no denying that it will be fun for Kings fans to watch him for years to come. Hopefully McNair and his staff will be able to put more good decisions together to surround Haliburton and De’Aaron Fox with a contending team.