Kings GM search includes R.C. Buford, Chris Wallace

USA TODAY Sports

Could the new Kings ownership try to pry a top executive from a Western Conference contender?

With new ownership in place, the Sacramento Kings' search for a new general manager begins in earnest this week. Already, the team has identified three candidates -- Spurs president R.C. Buford, Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace and Warriors assistant GM Travis Schlenk -- for the gig, according to Sam Amick of USA Today.

Upon completing his purchase of the franchise from the Maloof family earlier this month, new owner Vivek Ranadive quickly began to initiate the process of rebuilding the team's front office. With longtime GM Geoff Petrie likely on his way out, Ranadive will presumably hope to install executives capable of rebuilding Sacramento into a legitimate contender.

Buford, Wallace and Schlenk all have played roles in creating that kind of success with their current organizations. With the Spurs, Grizzlies and Warriors being three of the most successful franchises in the Western Conference this year, it's clear Ranadive is focusing on people with track records of bringing wins wherever they go.

Ranadive hasn't made any moves official yet because he can't assume control of the team until the purchase closes later this month, but his apparent aggression in making changes bodes well for the franchise. After becoming so stagnant on the basketball front in recent years, Sacramento appears to be targeting some of the brightest minds to turn things around.

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