MONDAY, 2:24pm: The Kings have made Malone's hiring official, announcing the move today in a press release.
"Hiring Coach Malone is our first step in giving the best fans in sports the excellence they deserve," Ranadive said as part of a statement.
THURSDAY, 8:48pm: Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Michael Malone has reached an agreement in principle on a four-year deal to coach the Kings. The fourth year deal will be a team option (Twitter links). Sam Amick of USA Today tweets that the deal will be worth more than $9MM if the fourth year option is picked up. Ken Berger of CBS Sports (via Twitter) says that the hiring won't be official until the sale of the Kings to the Vivek Ranadive-led investment group is official, adding that the sale is expected to close tomorrow.
This will be Malone's first opportunity as a head coach in the NBA, but it's worth mentioning that he's had plenty of experience in the league since joining then-Knicks head coach Jeff Van Gundy as a coaching associate in 2001. Malone has also worked as a top assistant for Mike Brown in Cleveland, Monty Williams in New Orleans, and most recently, Mark Jackson in Golden State.
The next presumable step for the Kings is to hire a general manager, and a few days ago we heard that the Spurs President R.C. Buford, Warriors assistant GM Travis Schlenk, and Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace, and former Pacers GM David Morway figure to be among the team's top targets. Berger tweets that while Malone's hiring comes without a team president in place, no candidate would object to that decision considering that Malone has been highly regarded as one of the league's top assistant coaches.
Wojnarowski reports that Malone is expected to hire his father, longtime NBA assistant Brendan Malone, to join him on his coaching staff. A formal announcement on the younger Malone's hiring is expected on Friday.