WEDNESDAY. 8:39am: All involved believe that the deal will get done and that Karl will take over as coach in time for the team’s first game after the All-Star break, as Amick writes in an updated version of his story. That indicates Karl shares the impression that Kings management has that an agreement is forthcoming.
10:42pm: The two sides are still in the midst of negotiations, according to TNT’s David Aldridge, who hears the proposed fourth year of Karl’s contract will likely contain buyout language worth a fixed amount that the Kings will owe Karl if they decide not to retain him past the third season of the deal.
TUESDAY, 5:30pm: Only a dramatic and unexpected collapse in the final stage of negotiations can prevent Karl from becoming the next coach of the Kings, Marc Stein and Chris Broussard of ESPN.com report. Though the deal hasn’t been finalized, the organization is already operating under the premise that Karl will take over the team after the All-Star break, the ESPN scribes add.
MONDAY, 5:30pm: Karl is seeking $5MM a year and would prefer the deal not include a team option as the sides continue to negotiate, USA Today’s Sam Amick hears.
4:47pm: George Karl will take over as coach of the Kings after the team plays its final game before the All-Star break Wednesday, absent an unforeseen turn of events, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The sides are progressing toward a four-year deal worth between $4MM and $5MM per season, league sources told Wojnarowski, with a team option on that fourth season. The sides are ironing out other details, Wojnarowski adds.
Dan Fegan and Jarinn Akana have no issues with the potential hiring of Karl, Wojnarowski hears, explaining that their seeming opposition was only a desire for clarity on the team’s swift departure from its plans to keep Tyrone Corbin for the rest of the season. D’Alessandro told Corbin on Friday, one day after the Magic fired Jacque Vaughn, that the team planned to search for a new head coach immediately.
It’s been a twisting path since then, with Karl, who worked under D’Alessandro when they were both in Denver, the central figure of the team’s search. Multiple Kings players reportedly oppose the would-be hiring, and members of the front office as well as minority owners have reportedly held reservations about Karl. Majority owner Vivek Ranadive apparently gave D’Alessandro the green light to hire Karl if he wishes, but Ranadive and D’Alessandro have sought assurances that Karl, who’s 63 and is twice a cancer survivor, is healthy enough for the job. There were conflicting reports about whether the team has made an offer to the 2012/13 Coach of the Year, but regardless, the sides appear on the verge of a deal.