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Michael Malone expected to be Kings coaching candidate

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Sam Amick reports that Mike Malone is expected to be a candidate for the Kings job if Keith Smart is not retained.

USA TODAY Sports

Within the next week or so, the NBA will approve Vivek Ranadivé's purchase of the Sacramento Kings. And at that point the team will almost assuredly be looking for a new general manager, as Geoff Petrie's contract expires at the end of June. But there's also a good chance that a new coach could be in order. Keith Smart is signed through 2013-14, but new owners and GMs tend to pick their own coaches, as Smart knows all too well.

If Smart is replaced, USA Today's Sam Amick has a likely candidate in mind.

If Kings coach Keith Smart is not retained as is expected, then Warriors assistant Michael Malone - a former assistant in Cleveland and New Orleans who sparked dramatic defensive improvement at each of his NBA stops and has interviewed for several head coaching vacancies - is expected to be a candidate.

Malone is considered one of the top coaching prospects in the league. His father is longtime NBA coach Brendan Malone.

Amick also mentions Chris Mullin as a potential GM candidate, though it's worth noting that Mullin left the Warriors before Joe Lacob's group bought the team. Mullin tells Amick he has met Vivek a few times but has not discussed the position.

If a Warriors type gets the Kings GM job, my money is on assistant GM and director of player personnel Travis Schlenk. He's one of the guys responsible for the Warriors kicking the Kings' asses in the past two drafts.