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Why You Extend Westphal

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Ailene Voisin wrote an article today suggesting that the Kings were too hasty in extending Paul Westphal's contract, saying:

"The timing makes no sense for a number of reasons, including the most important ones: Westphal was already guaranteed to return as Kings coach next year, and in terms of his job performance, evaluating him on one season would be unfair and absurdly premature."

"Ailene Vosin nails this: another lazy/rash move by Kings to extend Westphal for no apparent reason."

The funny thing is that I don't have to work very hard to show just how ridiculous these statements are, I can simply read the rest of Voisin's article.

A few additional key excerpts from Ailene:

"In our gut, it feels right," Kings co-owner Joe Maloof said Monday afternoon. "We think Paul has done a great job for us, and in spite of our record, we feel we're getting better. We don't want any more coaching carousels, all those negatives going into next season. We know it's going to take time to rebuild and we want to know who our coach is."

Surely, there is something to be said for stability, consistency, professionalism and even loyalty.


Well, waiting until halfway through next season, or later, would result in less stability, less professionalism, less loyalty.  It could result in less consistency.  As Sam Amick reported over at FanHouse, Westphal had a clause in his contract that his 3rd year would become automatically guaranteed if he won a combined 60 games this season and next.  If you don't pick up the option for Westphal's third year, perhaps he begins sacrificing development of younger players in favor of trying to reach his 60th win.  The guy waited a long time to get another shot at being a head coach, I don't think he'll give it up without a fight.

The Kings have been the definition of what a coaching carousel looks like.  We've seen Muss, Theus, and Natt struggle on the sidelines, fail to get buy-in from players, and generally lead the franchise to last season's 17-win abomination.  Westphal has the players buying in and trying, despite his often-criticized rotation instability.

The Kings have a young star in Tyreke Evans, and he seems to work well with Westphal.  I think you want to keep them both happy, and keep them both comfortable with what their future looks like.  The Kings are about to add another high draft pick.  I think you want that young player to understand that his coach is not a lame duck, and that he needs to learn the system.  We hope the Kings will try to entice a significant free agent to come to Sacramento this summer.  If I'm a free agent, I'm not signing a long-term deal in Sacramento unless I know there will be at least a little consistency from a franchise that has been anything but.

Waiting would be unnecessary, and only bears negative ramifications.  It's not like Westphal's contract is breaking the bank.  He's a steal.  Cheapest coach in the league.  And he's working. 

The organization made the right choice.