Kings owner Ranadive drove hiring of new basketball operations chief McNair

Sam Amico

Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive has been a fan of Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey, and that played a role in the Kings' decision to make Monte McNair their new chief of basketball operations, according to Sam Amick and Jason Jones of The Athletic.

McNair has worked in the Rockets' front office since 2007, including the previous two years as assistant GM. Like Morey, McNair is known as being a strong "analytics guy."

The sense around the NBA was that Minnesota Timberwolves executive VP Sachin Gupta was the frontrunner for the Kings job, but Ranadive apparently favored McNair, per The Athletic.

McNair is now the third GM/chief of basketball operations since Ranadive became team owner in 2013 (with Pete D'Alessandro and Vlade Divac being the others).

A native of Oak Park, Calif., McNair worked at STATS Inc. as a researcher prior to latching on with the Rockets. He played football at Princeton University.

“Monte has been absolutely critical to the success of the Rockets over his long tenure,” Morey said in 2018. “His unique combination of analytical skills and ability to work with our coaching staff was a key driver in our record breaking season last year."