The Kings have extended the contract of general manager Vlade Divac and exercised their fourth-year option on head coach Dave Joerger, the team announced today in a press release. As a result of the moves, both Divac and Joerger will now be under contract with Sacramento through the 2019/20 season.
While neither Divac nor Joerger was expected to be on the hot seat entering the season, the decision to extend their contracts before opening night represents a show of support from the franchise as the Kings kick off their rebuilding process in earnest. Having entered last season intent on making the playoffs, the DeMarcus Cousins-less Kings will head into the season focused more on developing young players and taking incremental steps forward.
Divac, who has been with the Kings since 2015, made some questionable moves and decisions during his first year or two with the franchise, and was widely criticized for the club’s return in the Cousins trade. However, the Cousins package – essentially Buddy Hield, Justin Jackson, Harry Giles, and Frank Mason – looks a little more promising today than it did at the time, and the Kings had a good offseason. Sacramento drafted a potential franchise point guard in De’Aaron Fox and made some solid veteran signings in free agency, picking up George Hill, Zach Randolph, and Vince Carter.
As for Joerger, in 2016/17 – his first season with the Kings – he led the team to a 32-50 record. Prior to arriving in Sacramento, Joerger had a 147-99 (.598) record in three seasons with the Grizzlies. While the club in Memphis had perennial aspirations of contending, Joerger will be tasked with coaching a different sort of club in Sacramento over the next couple seasons — the Kings’ decision to pick up his 2019/20 option indicates the team believes he’ll be up to the challenge of developing the young players on the roster.