The Sacramento Kings are currently being coach by assistant and now interim head coach Ty Corbin after recently opting to fire head coach Mike Malone. Since Malone’s departure, several names have surfaced for the Sacramento vacancy. Initially reported were George Karl and Vinny Del Negro as top candidates for the Kings. Not long after came public interest in Chris Mullin, an advisor to the Kings who has expressed his reluctance to jump right into the gig, and former Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson.
According to sources for ProBasketballTalk, Karl is really the key target:
In the meantime they have allowed themselves to be connected to former Warriors coach Mark Jackson, staging a not-so-secret meeting at Sleep Train Arena following Thursday’s nationally televised game that Jackson called for ESPN.
Sources tell PBT that Jackson has “no chance” of being the Kings’ next coach, adding that the meeting was both personal in nature and mutually beneficial for all parties – sending Karl a message at the negotiating table and for Jackson, keeping his name in the news as a future head coaching candidate.
Karl has shown interest in coaching this Kings team. PBT says Sacramento is at a $5 million per year asking price.
Part of firing Malone, besides these reports insisting it was revolved around Royce White, had to be ultimately be attributed to simply a lack of confidence in Malone to take the team where they feel it should be. The Kings were off to an 8-1 start to the season and Malone was part of their identity with his fire and energy on the sideline. He also developed a rapport with DeMarcus Cousins. They’ve since digressed, much due to Cousins being out, and clearly something changed. I think the expectation factor still played a part.
As a veteran coach who has seen and coached every scenario in NBA basketball, Karl is likely the best possible candidate for Kings owner Vivek Ranadive at this point. If mutual interest is genuine, I’d expect to see Karl hired sooner than later.