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Royal Reading: Trajan Langdon declines opportunity to help in Kings’ GM search

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The Sacramento Kings continue their search for their new general manager, but one candidate shot down the opportunity to join the front office.

Former NBA player, and current New Orleans Pelicans general manager Trajan Langdon reportedly turned down an offer to aid the Kings in finding a new head of basketball operations.

It makes sense for Langdon to say no to the offer. As Will Guillory states, he’s heading into his second season with New Orleans and has Zion Williamson plus Brandon Ingram to build around.

Sacramento will have some extra time to make the right decision. The NBA is pushing back the 2020 NBA Draft and the start of free agency from October to November, which takes the pressure off the Kings to find a replacement for Divac sooner than later.

Jason Jones of The Athletic lists five candidates Sacramento is keeping its eyes on, including Minnesota Timberwolves executive vice president of basketball operations Sachin Gupta, Miami Heat assistant GM Adam Simon, Denver Nuggets GM Calvin Booth, Houston Rockets assistant GM Monte McNair and Atlanta Hawks’ special adviser Wes Wilcox.

Each of the candidates have been about the NBA for a long time. Jones mentions Kings’ owner Vivek Ranadive’s affinity for former Philadelphia 76ers GM Sam Hinkie as a reason why Gupta could be the favorite:

“Gupta is said to be the mastermind behind the infamous Kings-Sixers trade in 2015 that gave the 76ers the right to swap picks with the Kings in 2016 and 2017 and eventually led to Sacramento surrendering its 2019 pick, all as part of a salary dump for Divac to clear space for free agency. If Gupta is a true disciple of Hinkie, whom he met while both worked under Morey in Houston, the Kings could be in for a major overhaul in which no one is safe from being dealt.”

If Gupta is hired, Sacramento will begin to use a ton of analytics in constructing its roster around soon-to-be All-Star De’Aaron Fox.

I don’t see Booth leaving his position with the Nuggets after just two months as the GM. The former NBA player — who played seven games for the Kings during the 2008-09 season — has been with Denver for three seasons as the team has developed into one of the best squads in the Western Conference.

Simon is an intriguing choice as well. The Heat have done well at finding talent with later picks, something Sacramento struggled to do with Divac at the helm.

Ranadive and Joe Dumars will take their time to get the decision right, so the process will continue over the coming weeks.

Is there a candidate you prefer out of the options Jones listed in his piece?

On to some links:

The Kings hold four picks in the 2020 NBA Draft, including the No. 12 selection. FanSided’s Anthony Cardenas looks at if Sacramento should explore trading up or down at the draft.

One under-the-radar Sacramento player showed flashes during his short stint with the team. FanSided’s James Kattato says the team should bring back Jabari Parker.