Following up on his story from last week, ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported earlier today that Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace appeared to be strengthening his position as the frontrunner for the Kings' general manager opening. According to Stein, the sense was that "something would have to go awry" to keep Sacramento from hiring Wallace for the job.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com suggests, however, the Kings have contacted a number of high-profile candidates as part of their search. In addition to formally interviewing Wallace, Warriors assistant GM Travis Schlenk, and former NBA coach Mike Dunleavy, the Kings have been in contact with former Pacers GM David Morway, and have had "exploratory conversations" with former Pacers president Larry Bird and former Warriors GM Chris Mullin. Both Bird and Mullin have been previously mentioned as potential candidates for the Kings.
One source tells Berger that the process remains "very fluid" while another says that it's still "wide open," with the potential to expand beyond the current group of candidates. With Warriors assistant Michael Malone having already reached an agreement to coach the team, Berger adds that there's some concern within the Kings organization about installing both a first-time coach and a first-time GM, meaning the club would prefer someone with past experience running a team.
According to Berger, there's also some concern about bringing in too many transplants from the Warriors organization. Vivek Ranadive, of course, was a part owner in Golden State before assuming control of the Kings, and there was some speculation that Warriors advisor Jerry West may have some input in the Kings' GM search, which West admantly denied to Sam Amick of USA Today.
"For some reason, I've gotten two or three calls from people (wanting the job) saying that (they) want to get in front of (Ranadive) and could you help, and I think it's ludicrous," West said. "I sent back to them and said that in no way, shape or form am I advising him — period."
While West's role in assisting Ranadive seems to be minimal at best, Berger writes that the new Kings owner may be interested in bringing in a "an experienced, recognizable leader" in an advisory role, similar to the position West has in Golden State.