Sacramento Kings

Kings To Interview Mark Jackson

The Kings’ reported list of coaching candidates is a wide-ranging one that continues to grow, with Mark Jackson becoming the next in line to land an interview with Sacramento, Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee relays (via Twitter). The interview hasn’t been scheduled yet, though the Kings reportedly want to hire a coach by sometime next week, which means any sit down between the two parties will likely occur in the near future, though that is merely my speculation.

Jackson had reportedly interviewed with the Wolves prior to Tom Thibodeau being hired and was in the mix this spring for the Nets job that’s since gone to Kenny Atkinson. He’s been Jeff Van Gundy’s broadcast partner on ABC and ESPN since the Warriors fired him following a 51-win campaign two seasons ago. Jackson’s dismissal came about primarily because his personality clashed with key members of the organization, and it was in spite of the widespread support he had from players. Jackson was 121-109 in three seasons with Golden State.

The Kings have received permission to interview Grizzlies assistant coach Elston Turner and have asked the Pacers for permission to interview assistant Nate McMillan, as Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago reported earlier today. They’ve interviewed Sam Mitchell, Vinny Del Negro and Mike Woodson and would like to do so with Luke Walton, Kevin McHale and Jeff Hornacek, according to earlier reports. Brian Shaw, Ettore Messina, Ime Udoka, Monty Williams, Jeff Van GundyPatrick Ewing, David Blatt, Jay Larranaga and Henry Bibby are the other names the team is said to be considering.

Kings Get OK To Interview Turner, Not Walton

1:55pm: Sacramento would like to talk to Walton, but no indications exist that the feeling is mutual, Amick tweets.

12:06pm: The Kings have received permission to interview Grizzlies assistant coach Elston Turner for their head coaching vacancy, reports Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Northeast Ohio Media Group (Twitter link). GM Vlade Divac has reportedly been expected to meet with Warriors assistant Luke Walton, but Sacramento has yet to get Golden State’s permission to do so, as USA Today’s Sam Amick hears (Twitter link). Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee reported earlier this week that Turner would receive consideration for the Kings job.

The 56-year-old Turner has been with the Grizzlies since 2013, but his time as an NBA assistant dates back much farther. He was on Rick Adelman‘s coaching staff in Sacramento from 2000-06, when Turner was primarily responsible for the team’s defense, Jones tweets. Turner’s first gig as an NBA assistant was with the Trail Blazers from 1996-2000, and he’s also been an assistant for the Rockets, from 2007-11, and Suns, from 2011-13. He spent eight seasons as a player in the NBA from 1981-89, teaming with Michael Jordan on the Bulls from 1986-88.

Sacramento reportedly wants to hire a coach by sometime next week, but that seems far-fetched given the broad scope of the team’s search. The Kings have asked the Pacers for permission to interview assistant Nate McMillan, as Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago reported just hours ago. They’ve interviewed Sam Mitchell, Vinny Del Negro and Mike Woodson and would like to do so with Kevin McHale and Jeff Hornacek, according to earlier reportsMark Jackson, Brian Shaw, Ettore Messina, Ime Udoka, Monty Williams, Jeff Van GundyPatrick Ewing, David Blatt, Jay Larranaga, Elston Turner and Henry Bibby are the other names the team is apparently considering.

Kings Seek Interview With Nate McMillan

The Kings have asked the Pacers for permission to interview assistant coach Nate McMillan for the head coaching job in Sacramento, sources tell Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago (Twitter link). Sacramento reportedly hopes to make a hire sometime next week, but Goodwill indicates the Kings are willing to wait until Indiana’s playoff run is over to conduct the interview. The Pacers face an elimination game Friday against the Raptors.

Sacramento isn’t alone in its admiration for the former SuperSonics and Trail Blazers head coach, as Knicks team president Phil Jackson respects his “hard edge,” according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. It nonetheless doesn’t appear as though McMillan is a candidate for the Knicks job or any vacancy other than Sacramento’s at this point. Marc Stein of ESPN.com first identified the 51-year-old McMillan among those in the mix for the Kings opening.

McMillan is 478-452 in parts of a dozen seasons as an NBA head coach, with a 14-20 playoff record. He was last a head man for Portland, which fired him in March 2012.

The Kings have the NBA’s most well-populated list of reported candidates. They’ve interviewed Sam Mitchell, Vinny Del Negro and Mike Woodson and would like to do so with Luke Walton, Kevin McHale and Jeff Hornacek, according to various reports. Mark Jackson, Brian Shaw, Ettore Messina, Ime Udoka, Monty Williams, Jeff Van GundyPatrick Ewing, David Blatt, Jay Larranaga, Elston Turner and Henry Bibby are the other apparent candidates.

Western Notes: McGee, Durant, Price

Thunder small forward Kevin Durant, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, sees some parallels between himself and Mavs big man Dirk Nowitzki regarding their importance to their respective franchises, Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman relays. “Dirk has been a model of how you should handle things,” Durant said. “I’m just trying to do things my way as well. There’s a lot that comes with it. Dirk has handled it about as good as anybody’s ever handled it in this league. I try to learn from guys like him, Kobe Bryant. From everybody that’s been in that position, handling the situation as being a franchise guy.

Durant did note that he has had an advantage over Nowitzki with the presence of teammate Russell Westbrook on the roster, Tramel adds. “The good thing about it here, I’m not the only guy,” Durant said. “Having Russell Westbrook along with me, that’s been with me along the way, to have another guy with you going through it and being able to kind of relate to the same things, it helps. I’m not here by myself. The organization’s been great, Russell has been more of a teammate than I could ask for over these last nine years. It’s not just myself.

While Oklahoma City’s fan base hopes that Durant remains as loyal to the Thunder as Nowitzki has been to Dallas, here’s more from out West:

  • The Kings are closing in on hiring Pistons executive Ken Catanella as their new assistant GM, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports. Catanella has been with Detroit since being named director of basketball operations in December of 2011, and he was promoted to assistant GM in 2014/15. He and George David were jointly in charge of the Pistons front office during the brief period between the tenures of Joe Dumars and Stan Van Gundy in 2014.
  • The Mavericks will seek to add a center this offseason but still consider JaVale McGee a part of their future plans, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. “I don’t want to leave out JaVale McGee,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He came to us as a guy who was recovering from a very serious [leg] injury. And his deal is a two-year deal and we felt it was going to take two years to get back to being completely healthy and the player he completely was. He’s regained his health, regained his footing and he and Salah Mejri right now are the two centers we have. We’ll certainly look to add somebody else. But we’re going to be looking at those two guys as very important.”
  • Suns point guard Ronnie Price, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, said he wants to remain in Phoenix and that he and his teammates need to stay close over the summer to improve team chemistry, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic writes. “It’s a mutual responsibility for all of us to stay linked in and just stay connected,” said Price. “We talk about being a family and we’ve made great strides. We can’t make those strides and then, in the summer, be like, ‘See you next August.’ We have to stay connected and continue to build so then, when the season gets here, we’re ahead of the game.”

More Doubt Cast On Kings' Appeal To McHale

  • Multiple people have told Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee that McHale isn’t fond of California, casting doubt on the idea that he’d take the Kings coaching job, though Jones cautions that he isn’t entirely sure whether McHale indeed holds a low opinion of the location (Twitter link). The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported last week that McHale was on the fence about whether to interview for the gig, though Stein wrote more recently that McHale and the Kings have had exploratory talks.

Kings Consider Henry Bibby; Morway Talks End

The Kings have reached out to former NBA assistant and USC head coach Henry Bibby about their head coaching vacancy, according to Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee, who includes the information in a story about the team’s desire to meet with Warriors assistant Luke Walton. The team appears set to accelerate its coaching search, as Jones hears the Kings would like to make a hire by sometime next week (Twitter link), though that would require the team to drastically pare its wide-ranging list of candidates.

The Kings are meanwhile no longer engaged in talks with former Bucks and Pacers executive David Morway about a front office role that would have made him an assistant to Vice President of Basketball Operations Vlade Divac, sources tell The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). A deal with Morway was reportedly close as of late last month, when the Kings signed Divac to an extension. Sacramento has sought an experienced hand to pair with Divac, a front office neophyte.

Bibby, 66, joins a crowded field of Sacramento coaching candidates that also includes Grizzlies assistant Elston Turner, as Jones reported Tuesday. The Bee’s Ailene Voisin reported last week that Divac was inquiring about at least two college coaches, so perhaps Bibby is one of them. Still, the father of former Kings point guard Mike Bibby hasn’t been with USC since 2004, having more recently been an assistant for the Sixers, Grizzlies and Pistons. He was last on an NBA bench with Detroit for the 2013/14 season.

Walton appears much higher on Sacramento’s list of priorities, and while Voisin reported that Divac and Walton were expected to meet to discuss the job, Jones raises the possibility that Walton will decline to talk to the Kings about the vacancy. The team has already interviewed Sam Mitchell, Vinny Del Negro and, as Jones reports, Mike Woodson, whose meeting with the team had reportedly been imminent. The Kings intend to meet with Jeff Hornacek, too, as Jones wrote last week.

Kevin McHale is a serious contender and he and the Kings have had exploratory talks, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported earlier this week. The former Rockets coach is well-liked within the Sacramento organization and many consider him a front-runner for the job, according to James Ham of CSN California. The Kings would like to interview McHale, but, as of last week, he hadn’t decided whether he wants to talk, as Wojnarowski reported.

Mark Jackson, Brian Shaw, Ettore Messina, Ime Udoka, Nate McMillanMonty Williams, Jeff Van GundyPatrick Ewing, David Blatt and Jay Larranaga are the other reported candidates for the coaching job. Some people around the league think Kings assistant Corliss Williamson deserves an interview, Jones tweets, but it’s unclear if the team is considering him.

Kings Eye Elston Turner For Coaching Job

The Kings will consider Grizzlies assistant Elston Turner for their head coaching vacancy, reports Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter link). The 56-year-old Turner is a former Kings assistant, as Jones notes, and one of several candidates whom various reports have identified for the position.

The only official interviews for the team’s vacant coaching slot thus far has been with former Timberwolves interim coach Sam Mitchell and former Clippers and Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro. Also said to be on the Kings’ list of candidates are former Hawks and Knicks coach Mike Woodson, former Rockets coach Kevin McHale, former Warriors head man Mark Jackson, Pacers assistant Nate McMillan and former Suns coach Jeff Hornacek. Sacramento apparently reached out to Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks prior to both men landing new posts and has also touched base with Spurs assistant Ettore Messina, Warriors assistant Luke Walton and former Cavs coach David Blatt, according to Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee.

Hornets assistant Patrick Ewing and Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga are those without NBA head coaching experience apparently in the running for the vacant post, though GM Vlade Divac indicated that the team is seeking an experienced hand when making its next hire.

Latest On Kings Coaching Interviews

  • Vinny Del Negro‘s interview for the Kings head coaching job took place Monday, and Mike Woodson is expected to have his interview as soon as today, league sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. GM Vlade Divac has been in charge of the interviews and is expected to have the most influential say in the team’s eventual hiring, Wojnarowski adds.

Latest On Kings’ Coaching Search

Former Rockets coach Kevin McHale has emerged as a serious contender for the Kings’ vacant head coaching post, Marc Stein of ESPN.com relays. McHale and Sacramento executive Vlade Divac have engaged in exploratory discussions regarding the position, but the talks haven’t escalated to the point where a deal is imminent, Stein adds. Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical first reported that Sacramento was interested in speaking with McHale as it looks to replace the fired George Karl.

The only official interview for the team’s vacant coaching slot thus far has been with former Timberwolves interim coach Sam Mitchell, though the team plans on sitting down with former Clippers and Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro later this week, Stein adds. Also said to be on the Kings’ list of candidates are former Hawks and Knicks coach Mike Woodson, former Warriors head man Mark Jackson, Pacers assistant Nate McMillan and former Suns coach Jeff Hornacek, the ESPN scribe notes. The Kings reportedly plan to interview Woodson and Hornacek. Sacramento apparently reached out to Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks prior to both men landing jobs last week and has also touched base with Spurs assistant Ettore Messina, Warriors assistant Luke Walton and former Cavs coach David Blatt, according to Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee.

McHale, 57, had entered the 2015/16 season as the NBA’s fifth-longest tenured head coach, having taken over the Rockets in June 2011. Houston had a winning record in each of McHale’s full seasons, with last year’s 56-26 mark the best of his tenure. But a 4-7 start to the season as well as reported locker room issues led the Rockets to part ways with the former Celtics great. His .598 regular season winning percentage is the best of all-time among Rockets coaches. He was 193-130 in the regular season and 13-16 in the playoffs overall with the Rockets. McHale went 39-55 over two separate stints as coach of the Timberwolves in the 2000s, and he didn’t coach Minnesota in a postseason game.

Rose: Kings Should Build Around Cousins

  • The Kings‘ best strategy is to rebuild around center DeMarcus Cousins, ABC analyst Jalen Rose told Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. People within the Kings organization reportedly sense that GM Vlade Divac is willing to gauge the trade market for Cousins after another nonplayoff season and repeated discipline problems. “You can’t deal him,” Rose said. “He’s been an All-Star player, one of the top bigs in the game. You have to build around him.” Rose went through the Kings’ recent draft and personnel missteps before turning his attention to the team’s coaching vacancy. “The situation definitely needs an overhaul,” he said, “and it’s hard to say who would be a really good coach because I think they’ve gone through 10 in the last nine years, or something like that.” Sacramento has had eight coaches since the start of the 2006/07 season.

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