The Kings made waves last week when they decided to fire head coach Mike Malone just 26 games into the season after an 11-15 start to the year. Although reports have indicated that Tyrone Corbin is likely to hold on to the job for at least the remainder of the season, the team remains interested in hiring George Karl to take on the position, according to Aaron Bruski of Pro Basketball Talk, who adds that Sacramento’s desire to bring aboard the 2012/13 Coach of the Year is being curbed by the club’s expectation that his asking price would be a contract worth $5MM per year.
One other rumored candidate, Mark Jackson, has “no chance” at landing the head coaching spot, Bruski hears, in spite of news that the former Warriors coach met with Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro and advisor to the chairman Chris Mullin last Tuesday night. Bruski’s source contends that the meeting was mutually beneficial for both parties – keeping Jackson’s name in the headlines as a potential head coaching candidate in the future and sending Karl a message that Sacramento is interested in meeting with prospective candidates.
Bruski argues that hiring Karl sooner than later will help mitigate the controversy surrounding the team’s decision to dismiss Malone and provide some level of relief to a locker room that’s apparently grown tired of the head-scratching decisions made by the front office. Executives around the NBA respected the work Malone had been putting in prior to being axed in Sacramento, according to Bruski, so hiring Karl can only do so much to restore the image of the team.