It took more than a season and a half, but Monte McNair has put his imprint on the Sacramento Kings’ organization, completely transforming the composition of the roster during this season’s trade deadline.
Gone are several of the holdovers from Vlade Divac’s tenure with the team, most notably Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley. Two of Divac’s biggest blunders, selecting Bagley No. 2 overall and overpaying Hield on his extension with the team, have been wiped off the books. Both players’ times in Sacramento were past their expiration date for a while, so bringing in a new set of guys, regardless of their names has been a breath of fresh air so far.
In total, Sacramento brought in six new players to their roster, more change than this team has made in recent memory. At this point, the only remaining holdovers from the Divac era are De’Aaron Fox, Richaun Holmes, and Harrison Barnes.
Given Divac’s cataclysmic tenure as the general manager, this is a good thing.
The most consequential move, trading fan-favorite Tyrese Haliburton for Domantas Sabonis is something that had a pretty low approval rating both nationally and locally. Even still, I have to give McNair praise for having the guts to pull off that is kind of trade in the first place.
I, like other sects of the fan base and local media, have been very critical of McNair’s inactivity since becoming the general manager in September 2020. This deadline, though he was extremely active, taking a bulldozer to nearly half of Sacramento’s roster, doing what I and others have begged for, and finally making a massive swing.
Far too often, the decision-makers in Sacramento have leaned towards being safe and hoping internal improvements would get them where they wanted to go.
McNair recognized that wasn’t going to work with this group.
The deadline moves should be more of step one, rather than a final destination, but the fact that the team is different from the depressing group that has disappointed the Golden One Center faithful for years now is a victory in itself.
No longer can McNair be given the excuse of inheriting a bad roster. This is his team now.