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.
Here's more of tonight's miscellaneous links:
- J. Michael of CSN Washington hears that despite the Wizards owning three draft picks next month, the team doesn't want to add three rookies and will try to at least deal one pick (or possibly both second rounders) in a package to land a veteran player.
- As much as Thunder big man Daniel Orton enjoys being on a championship contender, he tells John Rohde of NewsOK that he's open to a change of scenery if it provides an opportunity for more playing time. Orton has two more non-guaranteed years with Oklahoma City.
- Michael Kaskey-Blomain of Philly.com wonders why 76ers GM Sam Hinkie hasn't hired a coach yet, making the argument that it will be counterproductive if they wait to name a coach after significant roster decisions - such as selecting a player in the draft - have been made.
- Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio took to Twitter to have a brief chat with readers, noting that there "absolutely" is interest in Rockets forward Thomas Robinson, the Cavaliers might be able to consider Danny Granger a real possibility as a trade target, Byron Scott looks to be the leading candidate for the Clippers head coaching job, and that the Celtics may go after Josh Smith if Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are done in Boston (All Twitter links here). Interestingly, Amico also tweets that Beantown could be in play for Andrew Bynum if they decide to gut the roster.
- Though he had originally been disappointed that he didn't land with the Knicks on draft night four years ago, Warriors star Stephen Curry now happily has the keys to the city in Golden State and wouldn't have it any other way (Will Leitch of Sports On Earth).
- Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles points out that not only was Michael Malone the only coaching candidate being considered by Vivek Ranadive, but notes that Jerry West - currently a consultant for the Warriors - has been counseling Ranadive throughout the hiring process.
- Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside notes that D-League guard Tony Taylor Jr. has an opportunity-laced summer to catch the attention of NBA executives, as the young guard will participate in a free agent camp for the Magic before joining the Thunder and Heat at separate times on their respective summer league teams.
- Tim Cowlishaw of SportsDayDFW thinks that Chris Paul makes much more sense for the Mavericks than Dwight Howard.
New Kings owner Vivek Ranadive has begun the process of finding a replacement for President Geoff Petrie, according to two people with knowledge of the situation. Sam Amick of USA Today reports that Ranadive is considering Spurs President R.C. Buford, Warriors assistant GM Travis Schlenk, and Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace.
Former Pacers general manager David Morway may also receive consideration and Ranadive is believed to be open to other names. The former Warriors minority owner is also consulting with his Warriors colleagues on the search. That includes Jerry West, a Warriors consultant who worked with Wallace in Memphis and Schlenk at Golden State.
Buford would be a major get for the Kings but he is unlikely to have interest in his job given the success that he has had in San Antonio. Wallace, meanwhile, would surely consider the job considering his minimized role in Memphis.
The firing of Lakers coach Mike Brown has been the story of the day, if not the week, in the NBA, but there are other relevant items around the Pacific Division today, believe it or not. Here's what's happening.
- Tom Ziller of Sactown Royalty believes the Kings' latest flirtation with Virginia Beach smacks of desperation, and says Anaheim is the most realistic destination if the Maloofs don't want to sell.
- If the Maloofs sell, Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson made his case to Sam Amick of USA Today that it should be to someone who keeps the Kings in town. "If somebody is going to pay an exorbitant price, and overpay, or do something very similar to what (Anaheim Ducks owner Henry) Samueli was going to do in Anaheim, if Chris Hansen is looking to do something like that, then that may be something that doesn't apply to us," Johnson said. "All things being considered, I would like to believe that (the Maloofs) have a change of heart and are willing to consider selling at a fair price and that they would give us a chance to keep the team here in Sacramento."
- In the same piece, Johnson said that the arena deal that the Kings and the city had seemingly agreed to in February is still on the table, as Amick notes.
- Jerry West appears comfortable in his advisory role with the Warriors, and exerted influence over the team's decision to trade Monta Ellis for Andrew Bogut and draft Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes, writes Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.