Kings Notes: Monk, Barnes, Brown, McNair, Fox

Kings players discussed the team’s 16-year postseason drought just once before the season began to clear the air about it, free agent addition Malik Monk tells Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. At 14-11 and sitting at fifth in the Western Conference, the current roster seems well positioned to take Sacramento back to the playoffs. Monk said that’s what envisioned when agreed to a two-year, $19.4MM contract over the summer.

“I wanted to change the culture,” he said. “I wanted to come in here and change everything about Sacramento and how everyone thought about it. I think we’re doing that now. We’ve just got to continue to win.”

The Kings also hired a new head coach in Mike Brown, whom several players praised for instilling accountability. Brown pointed to the leadership provided by Matthew Dellavedova, another offseason addition, and Harrison Barnes, who has been with the organization for nearly four years and is open to a new contract when he reaches free agency after this season.

“This group has a chance to do something special in Sacramento that hasn’t been done in almost two decades,” Barnes said. “I think that’s where my focus is. In terms of a contract, 11 years in now, I’m not too concerned about it. I think it’s all going to work out the way it’s supposed to.”

There’s more on the Kings:

  • Brown set his goals higher than just reaching the playoffs, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “When I took this job, one of the things that I truly believed in is if we did it right, we can have a chance at this thing,” Brown said. “Not just to make the playoffs — which is not what I’m looking to do — but to advance. You take a job to try to build a championship-level team organization. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. But you got to believe.” One way Brown has improved the team is by focusing on defense, where the Kings rank 15th in the league after finishing 27th last season.
  • General manager Monte McNair has overturned the roster since taking over as general manager in 2020 and hopes to get a chance to finish what he started, per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. McNair is in the final year of his contract and declined to say if he’s had extension talks with owner Vivek Ranadive. “I’ll just say my family loves it in Sacramento and we’re very happy with how things are going,” McNair stated. “We’re just focused on winning and continuing to keep this thing growing.”
  • After missing the past two games with right foot soreness, De’Aaron Fox participated in today’s morning shootaround, Anderson tweets. He’s listed as questionable for tonight’s contest in Philadelphia.
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