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Report: Kings will fire George Karl on Thursday

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Kimani Okearah

The worst kept secret in the NBA now has a league-sourced report and a timetable for its execution, per Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee –

Multiple league sources have indicated Karl will be fired Thursday. The sources would not go on the record because they are unauthorized to speak on the matter.

So, there you have it. Assuming everything goes according to plan, and it rarely does in Sacramento, the Kings will have fired George Karl over the next 24ish hours.

Jones also reported the most recent communication breakdown between Karl and the Kings’ front office –

The latest communication breakdown came this week when the front office did not tell Karl his top players weren’t going on the final trip.

If you’ve been paying attention to Karl’s pre and post game comments recently, you can hear the confusion, or indifference in how he answers questions involving players ‘resting’ and missing games. You certainly can’t blame Karl for that, but this is life in the NBA for a non-playoff team. Everyone does it, and while there is a tanking element to it, you almost have to take a head coach like Karl’s players away so he will get the young guys some burn. Seth Curry is benefitting from Rajon Rondo, Marco Belinelli, and Darren Collison’s absence. It is what it is.

That doesn’t excuse the Kings for not communicating any of this to Karl, of course.

Shortly after Jones' report, The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski added some news of his own -

Two members of Karl’s coaching staff, Corliss Williamson and Nancy Lieberman, could stay to be a part of the next head coach’s staff, league sources said.

The Kings have been steadily working on an agreement to hire David Morway into a top front-office position under Vlade Divac, but no contract has been finalized, sources said. Morway had a successful run as the general manager of the Indiana Pacers under president Larry Bird and mostly recently had been the assistant general manager in Milwaukee.

The Kings are unlikely to have success pursuing the top coaches on the market, which include Jeff Van Gundy, Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks. None of the three has interest in the Kings job, league sources said.

The Kings will be working from a list that will include Vinny Del NegroBoston Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga, ex-Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt, Atlanta Hawks assistant Kenny Atkinson and former Phoenix Suns coach Jeff Hornacek, sources said.

I'm not terribly shocked that the Kings could retain both Nancy Lieberman and Corliss Williamson. They were both reported as Vlade Divac, Vivek Ranadive hires, which is another problem entirely, but we're not getting in to that right now.

Woj also confirmed the Kings' interest and expected hiring of former Pacers GM David Morway, along with a list of potential coaches the Kings can and can't hire.

I was preparing for the worst when I got to that little nugget about the Kings' current coaching 'wish list', but I have to say, I really like a lot of those candidates, Vinny Del Negro excluded.  Jay Larranaga is a great young candidate, I still believe in both David Blatt and Jeff Hornacek as coaches that can be successful under the right circumstances, and I don't have a strong opinion on Kenny Atkinson, but he'd be coming from the Gregg Popovich, Mike Budenholzer coaching tree, and that has to count for something.

It's our very first window into a coaching search that hasn't even begun yet, but I like where the Kings are starting.