Assistant coach Corliss Williamson is more likely to be the head coach of the Kings by season’s end than George Karl is, barring a surprise, according to Chris Mannix of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports. The front office has lost nearly all confidence in Karl and players have tuned him out, Mannix hears from league sources, echoing Vertical colleague Adrian Wojnarowski’s report from Saturday that once more cast Karl’s job security into public question. Many of the Kings players have heard through their agents that the team is actively shopping them, Mannix also writes.
It’s the latest round of upheaval in Sacramento, where team’s minority-share owners have looked into ways to seize control from owner Vivek Ranadive, sources told Mannix. They nonetheless have little means to stage a coup, Mannix adds. The turmoil surrounding the Kings has made the head-coaching job unattractive to potential candidates, the Vertical scribe writes, suggesting that well-regarded assistants Kenny Atkinson of the Hawks and Jay Larranaga of the Celtics aren’t particularly anxious to take the job if it indeed comes open.
Kings players are upset with Karl about ineffciency in practices and shootarounds, and about in-game moves that haven’t worked out, as Mannix details. Kings GM Vlade Divac said in November, amid the last round of rumors surrounding Karl’s job security, that Karl would remain coach through season’s end. Former Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro said the same about interim coach Tyrone Corbin last season, but the team replaced Corbin with Karl over the 2015 All-Star break. That’s when the Kings gave Karl a contract that reportedly pays him $3.25MM this season and $5MM next season. He has a $5MM salary for 2017/18 that’s partially guaranteed for $1.5MM, as Wojnarowski also reported at the time.
The Kings have lost seven out of eight games and gave up 46 points in the first quarter Sunday in a loss to the Celtics. Sacramento is four and a half games behind the eighth-place Jazz in the Western Conference.
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