There was no better story in the NBA during the 2022-23 regular season than the Sacramento Kings. As a matter of fact, they may be the best story of the postseason as well even though they lost in the first round to the Golden State Warriors!
Finally ending what was a 16-year playoff drought, the Kings became the team everyone was cheering for and none of this newfound success would be possible without Monte McNair and the Kings’ front-office.
As a result of turning Sacramento into a 48-win team this season after winning just 30 games a season ago, the NBA announced on Wednesday that McNair has been named the 2022-23 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year.
McNair joins Joe Axelson from the 1972-73 Kansas City Kings and Geoff Petrie (1998-99, 2000-01) as the only other executives in franchise history to win this award.
Almost every inch of the Kings’ roster this season was put together by McNair and him earning the Executive of the Year honors can even go back to what he was able to do last season.
Ahead of the 2021-22 NBA trade deadline, the Kings moved standout second-year guard Tyrese Haliburton in a deal for All-Star big man Domantas Sabonis, a move that many criticized at the time. In his first full season with the Kings though, Sabonis put together his third All-Star season and led the league in rebounding as a whole.
Prior to the start of this season, the Kings brought in a key bench contributor in Malik Monk via free agency, they were able to draft Keegan Murray fourth overall in the 2022 NBA Draft and McNair executed a trade for Kevin Huerter from the Atlanta Hawks for a future first-round pick.
The most impactful move Monte McNair made though was filling the Kings’ vacant head coaching spot this offseason. Sacramento was able to hire Mike Brown from the Golden State Warriors after he served as a lead assistant under Steve Kerr for six seasons.
Winning three championships with the Warriors, Brown learned valuable lessons from Kerr and learned how to build a culture of his own, something he has done perfectly in Sacramento. He was recently named the 2022-23 NBA Coach of the Year award as a result.
Ending their playoff drought, hiring a fantastic, well-respected coach and building a sustainable roster that can compete in the Western Conference for years to come, McNair has very much earned this honor from the NBA.
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