George Karl‘s 14-month tenure as Kings coach was tumultuous, to say the least, and uncertainty has similarly marked the search to replace him. Reports have identified 21 candidates, including Tom Thibodeau, Scott Brooks and Kenny Atkinson, who’ve since taken other NBA head coaching jobs. GM Vlade Divac apparently wants to make a hire by sometime next week, but that seems like a daunting challenge, given all the names he’s sorting through.
Here’s a look where the Kings stand with each reported candidate, aside from the three who are already off the market:
- Henry Bibby: Sacramento has reached out to the former USC coach who’s the father of former Kings point guard Mike Bibby.
- David Blatt: The former Cavs coach was one of the first connected to the Kings vacancy, and Sacramento has reached out to him, too.
- Vinny Del Negro: The former Bulls and Clippers coach interviewed with the Kings on Monday.
- Patrick Ewing: The Hornets assistant and Hall of Fame center has long pined for a head coaching job, and the Kings are at least considering him.
- Jeff Hornacek: The ex-Suns coach was one of the first to be linked to the job, and the Kings intend to meet with him.
- Mark Jackson: An interview is set to take place, though the timing is unclear.
- Jay Larranaga: The Celtics assistant emerged as one of the early names linked to the opening, but no reports have addressed his candidacy since.
- Kevin McHale: The Kings have had extensive discussions with the ex-Rockets coach, and the dialogue is expected to continue, though some doubt exists about whether McHale wants the job.
- Nate McMillan: Sacramento has asked the Pacers for permission to interview McMillan, an Indiana assistant, but he doesn’t want to talk until the Pacers are done with the playoffs. The Kings appear willing to wait on him.
- Ettore Messina: The Kings have reached out to the Spurs assistant, and Divac has been especially interested in him and Walton, along with Thibodeau and Brooks, who’ve since taken other jobs.
- Sam Mitchell: The former Raptors and Wolves coach interviewed with the Kings last week. He appears to have been the first to interview.
- Brian Shaw: The Kings and the former Nuggets coach have mutual interest.
- Elston Turner: The Kings have received permission to interview the Grizzlies assistant who was a member of Rick Adelman’s staff in Sacramento from 2000-06.
- Ime Udoka: Divac has gauged the interest of the Spurs assistant.
- Jeff Van Gundy: Divac put out feelers, but the former Knicks and Rockets coach is uninterested.
- Luke Walton: Sacramento would like to interview Walton, and Divac apparently was expected at one point to meet with him, but the Kings don’t have permission from the Warriors and no indications exist that Walton, also a candidate for the Rockets, Knicks and Lakers jobs, wants to talk.
- Monty Williams: Divac has asked about Williams’ interest, though Williams, who’s still grieving the death of his wife, told the Wolves he wasn’t ready to discuss their vacancy when Minnesota reached out.
- Mike Woodson: The former Hawks and Knicks coach interviewed with the Kings on Tuesday.