The overwhelming sense in the Kings organization is that George Karl is in his final weeks as coach, writes Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. That jibes with earlier reporting that cast doubt on the idea of Karl remaining in his position beyond this season, even though he made it through a near-dismissal last month. Players say the 63-year-old doesn’t appear to have the energy or vocal cords necessary to continue to face the challenge of coaching DeMarcus Cousins, whom the Kings suspended Thursday for his latest verbal clash with Karl, Voisin adds. Karl nonetheless downplayed the implications of Thursday’s cancer treatment, which removed squamous cell carcinoma on the left side of his neck, as Voisin relays. The columnist proposes moving Karl into the front office as a solution, and it’s an idea to which GM Vlade Divac is open, Voisin notes. See more from around the NBA:
- Peter Holt’s decision to step down as owner of the Spurs was surprising, and the timing was odd, coming in the midst of another run at a title, but it’s in line with the 67-year-old’s gradual tapering of his professional responsibilities, sources tell Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio-Express News. Holt’s past history of alcoholism wasn’t a factor in his decision, said new co-CEO Rick Pych, who promised that he doesn’t plan any significant change for the organization, given his longstanding history with Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford. New primary owner Julianna Hawn Holt, Peter Holt’s wife, long ago established herself with the team, minority-share owner Stephen Lang told Orsborn, lending further credence to the idea that no major overhaul is coming.
- Louisville sophomore center Chinanu Onuaku will declare for the draft, coach Rick Pitino said, as Jeff Greer of The Courier-Journal notes. That doesn’t mean he’s necessarily draft-bound, as new rules allow underclassmen to again “test the waters” and take part in the NBA combine while still maintaining their college eligibility should they decide to withdraw from the draft. Onuaku, the younger brother of Arinze Onuaku, is the 51st-best prospect in Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress rankings and comes in 58th with Chad Ford of ESPN.com.
- Ford gives his take on the most likely pick for each team currently slated for a lottery pick in an Insider-only piece.