10:56pm: Cousins didn’t confirm or deny his behind-the-scenes role in the Karl situation after Saturday’s loss to the Jazz, Bruski reports. (Twitter link). “I’m waiting just like you guys,” Cousins told reporters. “There’s gonna always be allegations, there’s always going to be he said/she said.” The Sacramento center wasn’t surprised to be the target of rumors, saying, “Of course my name is being thrown into it. (I’m) franchise center piece…” (Twitter link).
10:22pm: There is opposition to Karl inside the Kings organization from minority owners, Amick reports (Twitter link). There was hope that Karl could talk to Cousins on Sunday — either in person or by telephone — but it’s uncertain now if that will occur (Twitter link).
9:34pm: The resistance from Cousins’ camp has slowed negotiations between Karl and the Kings, Wojnarowski confirms (Twitter link). He adds that the two sides were closing the gap on money and contract length this afternoon (Twitter link).
9:12pm: It seems less and less likely that Karl will be the Kings’ next coach, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link), who says representatives of the team, Karl and Cousins all share that belief. He adds that a resolution is expected Sunday, and the Kings are willing to finish the season with Corbin behind the bench. (Twitter link).
5:27pm: There is a significant gap between the two sides when it comes to salary and length of contract, reports Sam Amick of USA Today. D’Alessandro, who’s pushing for the team to bring on his former Nuggets colleague, has traveled to Denver to talk about the job with Karl, Amick also writes. The two agents for Cousins have opposed a Karl hiring, Amick hears, pointing out that Karl reassigned Jarinn Akana, one of those agents, from the coaching staff to a scouting position when Akana worked for the Nuggets. Karl’s son, former NBA player Coby Karl, once was a client of Dan Fegan, the lead agent for Cousins, before replacing him with another representative, according to Amick. D’Alessandro is prepared to forge ahead without the support of those agents, but there’s concern within the Kings organization about the conflict that would engender, and the GM would prefer to convince them Karl is the man for the job, as Amick explains. Karl has told the Kings that he likes Cousins quite a bit, Spears tweets.
2:10pm: The Kings are in “serious back-and-forth” discussions with Karl, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! sports.
SATURDAY, 11:22am: Talks between the Kings and Karl have intensified, Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee reports. The combination of Karl’s innovative coaching and immediate availability has won over team officials, Voisin notes. While it was previously reported that Sacramento wished to wait until after the season to make a change, the Kings’ ongoing slump and “jarring absence of competitiveness” has prompted principal owner Vivek Ranadive and D’Alessandro to move the search along more rapidly, Voisin adds.
3:57pm: Kings officials want to see whether Tom Thibodeau or other desirable coaches become available this summer, giving them further motivation to stand pat for now, Jones tweets.
3:47pm: Sacramento’s front office is not pleased with the play of the team but is nonetheless concerned about firing another coach during the season, Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee reports (Twitter links). In addition to Karl, Alvin Gentry and Nate McMillan will also be candidates for the Kings’ coaching slot, Jones adds.
FRIDAY, 2:37pm: The Kings are picking up steam in their search for a long-term solution at head coach, as Aaron Bruski of NBCSports.com hears (Twitter link). There’s a decent chance that the team will make a hire at the All-Star break, Bruski adds, cautioning that Sacramento has no definitive timetable to make a move. Bruski suggests that the Magic’s coaching search has spurred the Kings into action, and George Karl, who’s openly campaigning for the Orlando job, remains a candidate, according to Bruski (Twitter links). Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro has said that Tyrone Corbin, who took over for the Kings when they fired Michael Malone in December, would remain in charge of the team until season’s end. Still, another report indicated that owner Vivek Ranadive wanted to bring in someone else in the immediate wake of Malone’s dismissal before the team’s front office talked him into keeping Corbin.
Sacramento is just 6-18 under Corbin, and sits in 12th place in the Western Conference at 17-31 after a strong start under Malone that ended when an illness knocked DeMarcus Cousins out of 10 games. Cousins, who was a supporter of Malone, told reporters after Thursday’s blowout loss to the Mavs that this has been his most frustrating time as a King, as Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee notes (Twitter link).
Bruski wrote in December that Mark Jackson, another rumored candidate for the Magic job, had “no chance” of becoming the next Kings coach, in spite of his close ties to D’Alessandro and Kings adviser Chris Mullin. D’Alessandro denied that a meeting he had with Mullin and Jackson, as well as Cousins, had any connection to the team’s head coaching position. Ranadive became intrigued with the idea of Mullin coaching the team, but the Hall-of-Famer apparently has no desire to take over at midseason. Vinny Del Negro, whom multiple reports have connected to the Magic job, also heard from the Kings in December.