FRIDAY, 1:23am: Vice president of basketball and franchise operations Vlade Divac said the issues are between himself and Karl, not Ranadive and Karl, as Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee relays (Twitter links). Divac didn’t elaborate, but Jones hears that he didn’t like Karl going behind his back to negotiate possible trades. Divac nonetheless added that he has no shortage of respect for Karl and wants to believe that Karl and Cousins can work with each other, Jones also tweets.
“I respect my coach and I think he’s great but he has to trust me to do my job. That’s all,” Divac said, according to Jones (Twitter link).
5:17pm: Credible sources inside the Kings issued strong denials that the team has made Karl’s job status a matter of discussion, tweets Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee.
4:56pm: Karl is no longer in the loop on draft discussions, Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times tweets.
THURSDAY, 4:01pm: Kings owner Vivek Ranadive has considered firing George Karl, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com. Ranadive is upset with Karl’s desire to trade center DeMarcus Cousins, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
No potential replacement for Karl has been mentioned or considered yet, according to Broussard. Meanwhile, firing Karl will not be a panacea for the tensions between Cousins and the franchise.
“If you fire Karl, now you can’t control Cousins because he’ll know he’s running the place,” the source told Broussard. “Now he’ll feel like he’s telling you what to do.”
No firing is imminent, which perhaps explains Broussard’s usage of the past tense in saying Ranadive has “considered” the move, but the owner has broached the subject with team execs over the last few days, per the source. When Ranadive was considering hiring Karl in February, some members of the organization told him it was a bad idea. Recently, the owner told at least one of those people that he was right.
The Kings hired Karl In February, giving him a four-year deal worth $14.5MM. Karl is guaranteed $11MM in total.