Luke Walton’s Job Appears Safe; Finances Play Role

Kings coach Luke Walton has been on the short list of NBA coaches with tenuous job status for awhile but he’s likely to retain his position at least through the end of this season, Sam Amick and Jason Jones of The Athletic report.

There are a variety of reasons why Walton is expected to hold onto his job, barring a complete second-half collapse. Finances come into play, as Walton is owed a combined $11.5MM in the next two seasons of his four-year guaranteed deal. The franchise has lost approximately $100MM due to the pandemic and there was even an ownership cash call in May, per Amick and Jones.

The Kings have a history of paying multiple coaches at the same time due to early firings, and minority owners are reluctant to go in that direction again.

Minority owners were asked to come up with funds to ensure the organization was still on track financially in accordance with five-year projection plans. Several of them were unable to do so, and owner Vivek Ranadive had to bridge the financial gap.

Walton has also dutifully carried out the plan set forth during the offseason by new GM Monte McNair.

McNair viewed this season as a “gap year,” with his long-term vision requiring two-to-four years to set in. Franchise player De’Aaron Fox has continued to support Walton publicly and privately and the front office is also impressed how rookie Tyrese Haliburton has blended with Fox. The progress shown by Marvin Bagley II in a starting role has also worked in Walton’s favor.

Here’s more tidbits from The Athletic’s story:

  • Nemanja Bjelica chose not to play for over a month because he was furious that Bagley had been handed his minutes. Glenn Robinson III was also upset with losing his rotation role before he was released.
  • Bjelica and Cory Joseph are the two players most likely to be dealt before the trade deadline. Hassan Whiteside has also been monitored by teams seeking a backup center.
  • Despite the improvements he’s shown, Bagley has drawn little interest on the trade market.
newest oldest

23 thoughts on “Luke Walton’s Job Appears Safe; Finances Play Role

    • mcmillankmm

      Agreed, that is an awful attitude…plus bad letting Bagley steal your minutes

    • Jason Lancaster

      Eh. Players lose minutes all the time and understand. Could be he’s mad about the way Walton took him out of the rotation, not just that he’s out.

  1. Sillivan

    I want to see Kings and Wolves sell the teams to Silicon Valley and Seattle
    It’s painful to watch their games

    If they don’t sell, they will be bottom teams for many years to come
    Their future is not better than bad teams like Pelicans Thunder and Grizzlies

    Sell the teams please, you are not winning anything
    You are Sterling”s Clippers. You can’t show in nba Finals past 50 years and next 50 years


      Painful to watch bc the teams have been horrible
      If they’re good it would be better to watch, obviously
      But, moving kings makes no sense as the Sacramento fans were very good fans even through the worst of times

      • And for how long do you expect that will Continue ?? We are getting sick and tired of being perennial Lottery Pick Team !! If we can NOT even make it to the playoffs, then why are they even here ?? Seriously !! I thought we were suppose to try and win games to make it to the playoffs, not lose games and try to get the best lottery Pick, year end and year out !! I’d rather they moved on, than continue to watch this garbage they are putting on the floor everynight !!

    • Twinsfan333

      @sillivan as a long time T’wolves fan I’m with you. Move the team put me out of misery so I can be done with this league. Never thought I’d feel that way but NBA doesn’t work in this market.

  2. Sillivan

    If I sign a head coach job with Suns or Kings, I would want 30 years contract with $3 million a year
    If I am fired after 1 year, I get $87 million free money

    I don’t want one year contract like coach Kokoskov

    • stevep-4

      Has anyone been offering you a coaching job? I thought your resume was out there as a GM.

  3. WallyWood

    So basically the Kings can’t afford to hire a new coach to replace him?

  4. Corporal Foxtrot

    Bagley just needs the right team, the kings still don’t have a plan in place. Maybe the sixers pursue Bjelicia, Whiteside will have suitors for sure.

  5. OKC will be a a winner. There GM has an eye for Talent. Stan Van Gundy is Damn idiot. He can not coach. Why they have Steve Adams is beyond me. He just gets invited way off Zion. They need to Trade Blesdsoe for Luke Kenard.

  6. First off, “IF” you let Walton go, Is there any Available Coaches that are better than Walton. Most Coaches are Signed or Retired and don’t want a job. Secondly, With the Kings Past History towards Coaches, who in their right mind would want to come coach this team. Third, the Coach can Only do so much, then it falls back on the Players themselves. We all know by now this season is a bust, so I say trade some of the disgruntled players (Bagley, Hield) and Get a Draft Pick and then let McNair and Harris sign a Couple of FA and HOPEFULLY next year will be the end of our Playoff Drought (Doubt it, but we can all hope). They owe Walton too much money at this point to just fire him. You are basically getting Nothing off the Bench, zero Production (Except for Haliburton & Bjelica), so release or trade them for draft picks. (Not Haliburton or Bjelica)

    • kingsforever 2

      We need ring protectors or guards. I trade hield, bagley, belly, CoJo, Holmes when players like thybull, okoro, Dort, donte de vincenco or physical center / power forwards come to us

    • WallyWood

      Available coaches better than Walton? He went 39-4 as the Warriors interim coach five years ago. He’s easily one of the NBA’s top 3 coaches, right?

Leave a Reply