The sudden availability of Dave Joerger has shaken up the timing of the Kings’ coaching search, reports Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. Joerger, who will meet with Sacramento officials today, is among roughly two dozen candidates to formally interview or speak with GM/executive Vlade Divac about the position. Voisin writes that Divac plans to choose three or four finalists in the next few days and present that list to the Kings’ front office. Divac had hoped to fill the vacancy before leaving for the pre-draft camp in Chicago later this week, but the dismissals of Joerger in Memphis and Frank Vogel in Indiana forced him to alter the schedule to take a look at both candidates. According to Voisin, Divac has also been trying to schedule a meeting with Spurs assistant Ettore Messina during downtime in the San Antonio-Oklahoma City playoff series. She lists Joerger, Vogel and Messina among the front-runners to be the Kings’ next coach, along with Mike Woodson and Nate McMillan. Portland coach Terry Stotts is a possible darkhorse if the Blazers aren’t willing to extend his contract.
There’s more news this morning on the Joerger front:
- Dissension between Joerger and the Grizzlies had been building throughout the season, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Joerger, who had just one guaranteed year left on his Memphis contract, reportedly angered team officials when he called the roster “a little bit old” earlier this season. More recently, Joerger told Memphis-area reporters that he wouldn’t be talking them them until July because he wasn’t part of the group preparing for the draft. Joerger’s request to be allowed to interview for coaching positions in Sacramento and Houston apparently sealed his fate in Memphis.
- Joerger’s meeting with the Kings seems like a “mere formality,” tweets TNT’s David Aldridge, who hears that the team is prepared to make a three-year offer worth $12MM.
- The arrangement between Joerger and Sacramento is virtually a done deal, tweets Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer, who adds that it would take a “screeching halt” for Joerger not to get the job.
- Joerger made a wise career move by orchestrating his firing in Memphis, writes Tom Ziller of SB Nation. Owner Robert Pera never believed in Joerger and tried to undermine him from the time he replaced Lionel Hollins in 2013, according to Ziller. That’s why Joerger has been requesting permission to interview with other franchises, starting with the Wolves in 2014. Ziller points out that Joerger is now free to pursue an arrangement that will give him more money and security than he had with the Grizzlies.