[Shams] The Sacramento Kings are hiring Houston Rockets assistant GM Monte McNair as new head of basketball operations, sources tell me and @sam_amick

So what is the correct number of drafts before questioning his picks are fair game?

Vlade had:
2015: WCS
2016: PappaG, Malachi Richardson,Skal,
2017: Fox, Justin Jackson, Harry Giles, Frank Mason
2018: Marvin Bagley, Gary Trent (for Portland)
2019: Justin James, Ignas Brazdiekas, Kyle Guy

after the 2017 draft I was pretty much done. What do you think is fair for this guy? He will have numerous 2nd rounders.
We shall see after 1. The Rockets draft history is sketchy, due to lack of picks but when they did draft it is a list of meh. Yes, they landed a few G League guys. The guy he picks at 12 most likely is going to be in the ballpark of players who should go at the spot but it’s the 2nd round picks that we can garner some knowledge. He needs to good in the draft unless he starts Dealing picks right and left.
 
I think this is exciting. We have a guy that played sport at a high amateur level, has relevant statistical education, and years of experience. He says he listens to scouts and uses analytics. He goes to effort to work with his coaches. Welcome to the Kings. Good luck.
I'm definitely in your camp. I'm getting excited to see what the new FO will do with picks 12,35,43 in a very intriguing draft.
 
I don't know anything about Monte McNair besides what I've read in the last couple of days, but he's qualified for the job and his association with the Sloan Conference over the years is encouraging. I do feel like a team in this market is really going to have to win games in the margins not necessarily with superstars and top 5 picks but by finding guys nobody else is looking at and putting them in position to be successful. Houston obviously has James Harden leading the league in scoring every year but they've got 14 other players on their roster helping him to get to the playoffs and most of those guys aren't big names.

The PTSD thing is real. My initial reaction to any Kings news at this point is to find the negative in it, but I had to stop myself and really take a step back here. Yes it would be easy to cynically dismiss this as Vivek being wowed by a Silicon Valley friendly stathead and making another rash decision. We all know the painful history but you can't change the past and sometimes people do learn from their mistakes. McNair earned a shot to see if he can turn this team around.

This is one of the first things Google turned up when I searched for Monte McNair and I thought it was an interesting discussion which helps to give you a sense of some of McNair's management philosophy and also because McNair is sitting right next to our current VP of Analytics Luke Bornn:


I've said this before, but it seems relevant to bring it up again here since Moneyball is a big part of this discussion... the Oakland A's don't win big every year and they make personnel mistakes like everyone else but more often than not they find ways to be successful far above what their limited budget and market share indicates that they should and that's not why I'm a fan of that team but I can tell you that over the last 15+ years I've found very little to be upset about with that front office. I'm confident that even when I disagree with their decisions (like the Josh Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes trades), they'll probably be proven right in the long run or at least they'll find a way to bounce back even stronger if they're not because they have the track record which backs them up. And that's really the best that any fan can hope for from their favorite team's front office staff -- confidence that they're the best people for the job and they're doing a far better job than I could hope to do.

Fast forward to the 33 minute mark in that video where Luke Bornn talks about why he thinks FG% is analogous to batting average in baseball as an outdated concept that new data models have made obsolete. Then immediately after that Monte McNair fields a question about player tracking technology. This is the kind of stuff we need to be looking at as a small market team just to *remain* competitive. So all in all, I'm excited that we may have brought in an executive here who is actually capable of backing up the rhetoric and bringing real value to the team as a decision maker. Also it seems pretty clear that we have at least two people in our front office now who are on the same page and looking at things from an objective point of view. Seems to me like there's a lot of reasons to be optimistic about this hire.

* Note: The word "remain" is rhetorical of course in this context because clearly we need to first catch up and become competitive.
I agree with a lot of this. One thing that may be relevant is Luke Bornn is no longer involved in day to day operations. He demoted himself and is an advisor now. His primary focus is a SPAC with Billy Beane and it looks like they're targeting the European relegation system.

One of my biggest criticisms of the Vlade led FO is they had one of the top analytics minds in the world working down the hall from them and they never levered it.

And the one thing about analytics is, the edge isn't in copying what everyone is doing. It is in exploiting what others are overlooking.

And if you're into Moneyball, I'd recommend reading Soccernomics.
 
I'm not really big on analytics more than a tool in a big picture in basketball. Basketball definitely differs from baseball in that there are a lot more intangibles and variables. A baseball player batting against a pitcher or fielding a ball is an individual act. Beyond free throw shooting, there are very few individual acts in basketball. The intangibles of a player can shift a whole team. It's why Jimmy Butler can drag a couple of teams to the Eastern Conference finals, and why he knew, despite the talent, he couldn't do anything with Minnesota. It's why the Kings fell apart after losing Shumpert of all people.

However, I'm a huge fan of having a unified plan and creating synergy. If Vivek loves analytics, McNair is all in on analytics and the team is going to hire appropriate pieces, including a coach, that are all on the same page, then I'm all in too and excited for what the future could hold.
One of the reasons why NBA teams are skewed in favor of star players is there are only 5 players on the court (for your team). In baseball, a star player is 1/9. In the NFL, a star player is 1/11.

So, for example, if Jimmy Butler, Pat Mahomes, and Mike Trout were rated the same in terms of star power. Butler's impact would be 80% greater than Trout's and 120% greater than Mahomes. And it can be argued that Butler's max impact relative to Mahomes is 340% since he plays offense and defense (beacause Mahomes true impact would be based on 1/22).
 
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One of the reasons why NBA teams are skewed in favor of star players is there are only 5 players on the court (for your team). In baseball, a star player is 1/9. In the NFL, a star player is 1/11.

So, for example, if Jimmy Butler, Pat Mahomes, and Mike Trout were rated the same in terms of star power. Butler's impact would be 80% greater than Trout's and 120% greater than Mahomes. And it can be argued that Butler's max impact relative to Mahomes is 340% since he plays offense and defense (beacause Mahomes true impact would be based on 1/22).
Yes, in a sense. A QB touches the ball on every play. The QB and Offensive line are infinitely more important than other players on the field. A dominant pitcher in baseball is still more important than Trout because the pitcher is involved in every play. Basketball.....all players on the court are involved on both offense and defense at all times.
 
Yes, in a sense. A QB touches the ball on every play. The QB and Offensive line are infinitely more important than other players on the field. A dominant pitcher in baseball is still more important than Trout because the pitcher is involved in every play. Basketball.....all players on the court are involved on both offense and defense at all times.
Yea, I’m just effing glad that we have a GM who understands that while Trout may be more valuable to the Angels during the season than Baumgarner, Baumgarner is 5x more valuable than Trout in game 7 of the World Series. And more importantly, a GM who is willing to exploit the eff out of that understanding.
 
I hope the new GM likes drafting long, athletic types who can play defense. This is the SA philosophy and SA’s thinking is they can develop the offense within their system. Of course, you have to show an ability or potential for the offense but if you can’t play D, they tend not to draft.....is what I have read
 
I hope McNair is a quick study. The Rockets actually didn't have any draft picks in this years draft. So, hopefully he can set up a good big board ASAP to make the best of the Kings multiple draft picks.
 
I hope McNair is a quick study. The Rockets actually didn't have any draft picks in this years draft. So, hopefully he can set up a good big board ASAP to make the best of the Kings multiple draft picks.
Well ain't that something, I really thought the draft timing might be a barrier to the hire and we grab the guy with no draft to prepare for. I do hope this is just a coincidence. I am pretty comfortable with this selection, although thats partially because the only info I have is the glowing PR he has been receiving.
 
Pure conjecture, but the nearly immediate withdrawal of all the candidates with scouting backgrounds coupled with the Morey acolytes (mediocre drafters at best/not good scouts of amateur prospects) maintaining interest makes me think Dumars will have heavy influence over the scouting department.
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
How the Kings draft picks are handled will be the first clue as what direction the new Kings FO will take. Draft is Nov. 18, correct? When does Free Agent signing start?
Yeah, right now the draft is scheduled for Nov. 18th. I guess they're doing it on a Wednesday (instead of the traditional Thursday) to avoid Thursday Night Football games?

I haven't heard when free agency starts.
 
How the Kings draft picks are handled will be the first clue as what direction the new Kings FO will take. Draft is Nov. 18, correct? When does Free Agent signing start?
Don't think it is official yet, but obviously after the draft.

I can tell you if they are too cheap to commit to Bjelica that's a bad sign too, as we could trade him for something.
 
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There is no chance that the rockets weren't still scouting all the players available for this draft. None. And, he has to hire people, from other teams, who have been scouting for this draft. This is a nothing burger.
Yes, and Ham is reporting that Catanella is likely to stay on. I wouldn’t be surprised if there really isn’t a ton of turnover with the rank and file front office staff, at least through draft time. It’s not as if when Vlade and Peja left the whole FO went dark.
 
This is where we are at right now, that we know of. My guess is a few of those others are gone too.

That is a sad sad front office.


Head Coach: Luke Walton

Assistants: Igor Kokoskov, Bob Beyer, Jesse Mermuys, Roy Rana, Bobby Jackson (assistant player development coach), Lindsey Harding (assistant coach/player development), Stacey Augmon (assistant coach/player development), Rico Hines (player development), Jonah Herscu (advance scout) and Will Scott (head video coordinator and player development coach)

Trainers: Pete Youngman (director of sports medicine), Manny Romero (head athletic trainer), Ramsey Nijem (head performance and strength coach), Aung Aye (manual therapist and assistant athletic trainer), Teena Murray (senior director of athlete health and performance)

Basketball Executives:

Joe Dumars — interim executive vice president of basketball operations
Ken Catanella — assistant general manager
Luke Bornn vice president of basketball strategy and analytics
Anthony McClish — director of basketball operations
Bill Pope — director of pro personnel
Greg Stratton — director of scouting