Sacramento Kings GM Monte McNair on the 2023 NBA Draft

Jun 23, 2023, 10:15 AM

(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)...

(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

Thirty minutes after Thursday night’s 2023 NBA Draft concluded, Sacramento Kings general manager Monte McNair emerged from the basketball operations offices above the team’s practice facility.

“You guys awake?” McNair asked the media with a laugh as the clock inched closer to 11:00 pm PST.

Indeed, the media–as well as countless Kings fans–were wide awake following McNair’s flurry of moves that brought 34th overall pick Colby Jones and 54th overall selection Jalen Slawson to Sacramento, while center Richaun Holmes and the 24th pick were dealt to the Dallas Mavericks.

McNair opened his press conference by stating that the team made an “important step” in improving the team by adding Jones, a 21-year-old wing that can play the guard and small forward positions thanks to his 6’6 build.

The Xavier product was acquired in a draft-night deal with the Boston Celtics that sent Sacramento’s 38th pick (the Celtics used the pick on Arkansas forward Jordan Walsh) in return for Jones, a two-way player that defend multiple positions.

YouTube video

“[Jones] is somebody that we’re really excited to add to the culture that we are building here,” McNair said of the guard. “He’s a winner, won almost two-thirds of his games at Xavier, and we’re excited to bring him in.

“We’ve got two All-NBA guys that we’re building around, so guys that can help them on both ends of the floor, we want high-IQ guys that can come in here and just figure out a way to contribute.”

Aside from the discussion surrounding Jones and Slawson, McNair–who was unable to address the Richaun Holmes trade until the trade becomes official in the coming days–made the move to send Holmes and the remaining $24 million on his contract to Dallas in return for the 24th overall pick in the draft (Olivier-Maxence Prosper).

By trading Holmes to the Mavericks, the Kings opened up $15 million on salary cap space, making them a legitimate threat to chase some big names on the free agent market this summer.

Following the Holmes-Dallas trade, Sacramento has $35.6 million in cap space, the fourth-most in the NBA, per Spotrac.

“July 1 when free agency kicks off, we’ll be able to figure out what our options are,” McNair said when asked about the cap space.

By creating the extension cap space, the Kings will now be able to enter free agency with the ability to chase big names like Draymond Green, Khris Middleton, and Kyle Kuzma, or look to retain Harrison Barnes while upgrading the roster with lower-level moves.

Other topics discussed by McNair during his press conference:

  • Domantas Sabonis is expected to be ready for the start of the season, although McNair did not say whether or not the All-Star will have surgery to repair his right hand avulsion fracture.
  • When asked about negotiations with Bulgarian forward Sasha Vezenkov, McNair kept things close to the vest, stating that the team looks forward to the process. Sacramento is officially able to begin negotiations with Vezenkov now that the NBA Draft has concluded.

You can watch the full post-draft media availability with Monte McNair by clicking play on the video that is located in this post.

Sacramento Kings Offseason Schedule

  • Friday, June 30 – Free Agent negotiating period begins
  • Monday, July 3rd & Wednesday, July 5th – California Classic Summer League at Golden 1 Center
  • Thursday, July 6– Free Agents can begin signing deals
  • Friday, July 7–Monday, July 17– NBA Summer League in Las Vegas
  • August TBD– 2023-24 NBA regular season schedule release
  • September TBD– Sacramento Kings training camp begins

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