It has been three and a half weeks since Vlade Divac left his role as general manager and vice president of basketball operations. In that time, there have been rumors about what the Kings will do next, but nothing concrete has emerged other than that Joe Dumars will be filling the position in the interim, and Luke Walton’s job is still safe.
Now, The Athletic reports that Sacramento is requesting permission to interview six candidates to be the next head of basketball operations. For some teams, this is the “president,” for others it’s the “vice president;” the important thing to note is that this individual will be the lead decision-maker.
The six candidates are:
- Timberwolves executive VP Sachin Gupta
- Heat assistant GM Adam Simon
- Nuggets GM Calvin Booth
- Pelicans GM Trajan Langdon
- Rockets assistant GM Monte McNair
- former Hawks GM Wes Wilcox
Gupta is the creator of the NBA Trade Machine and worked under Daryl Morey and Sam Hinkie, so he is analytics royalty. Hinkie has called Gupta the mastermind behind all of his trades, including the infamous 2015 deal with Sacramento in which the Kings surrendered a first-round pick and two swaps for the cap space to sign Rajon Rondo and a couple of other veterans. Bringing in Gupta would instantly change the perception of the team’s front office.
Great article, but I'd change the title -- Meet Sachin Gupta, The Driving Force Behind *All* of Sam Hinkie's Trades https://t.co/XOQp6BJhjF— Sam Hinkie (@samhinkie) January 31, 2017
Adam Simon and Monte McNair are a little more anonymous, though both are currently in excellent organizations, which gives them extra credibility. Wilcox has been around the NBA forever as a video coordinator, scout, and GM, though his tenure in Atlanta didn’t exactly end on the best terms.
Booth and Langdon are both former players who have worked their way into prominent front-office roles. Booth already appears to be the lead decision-maker in Denver after Arturas Karnisovas left for Chicago earlier but this year, but perhaps the Nuggets are still interested in hiring someone above him. Meanwhile, Langdon works underneath David Griffin in New Orleans, so this job would give him more authority.
Gupta is the most interesting name on the list, and a sign that the Kings are really thinking proactively about this position. It’s good to see that the team is casting a wide net in its search and looking at individuals with a variety of backgrounds.