Mike D’Antoni‘s inability to advance to the second round of head coaching interviews with the Kings suggests that the team is making it a priority to upgrade its defense, according to Marc Stein, who observes in his latest Substack article that Sacramento ranked 27th in defensive efficiency this season after placing 30th in 2020/21.
According to Stein, former Golden State coach and current ABC/ESPN broadcaster Mark Jackson – reportedly one of three finalists along with Steve Clifford and Mike Brown – impressed Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, and appears to have a legitimate shot of returning to an NBA bench. All three of Sacramento’s finalists are known for their “fondness for defense,” says Stein.
If Jackson isn’t hired by the Kings, he’s expected to be a candidate for the Lakers‘ job, though he may not be high on their wish list, Stein writes, adding that L.A. is expected to take its time with its head coaching search and likely won’t move as quickly as Sacramento’s has.
Here’s more from Stein:
- A number of rival teams expect the Timberwolves to attempt to trade guard D’Angelo Russell this offseason, according to Stein. Russell, who is good friends with Karl-Anthony Towns, will be on an expiring $31.4MM contract in 2022/23 after struggling in Minnesota’s playoff series vs. Memphis.
- Mavericks team officials are expressing plenty of confidence behind the scenes that the team will be able to work out a new deal with free agent point guard Jalen Brunson this summer, says Stein. New York, Detroit, and Indiana have frequently been cited as potential suitors for Brunson.
- If Quin Snyder decides to leave the Jazz this spring, the Hornets would have interest in him for their head coaching position, league sources tell Stein. Charlotte is in the market for a replacement for James Borrego.