What, you thought the Kings would have a calm offseason?
The Sacramento Kings are the center of the rumor mill this morning. Shortly after agreeing to a contact extension for himself, Vlade Divac reportedly fired Brandon Williams (per Sam Amick of The Athletic).
Sources, @TheAthletic: Kings GM Vlade Divac is meeting with assistant GM Brandon Williams right now, and has made the decision that Williams will not return next season. Story on Vlade being given full control of basketball ops moves here https://t.co/yLrPFYNpNL— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) April 11, 2019
And as though that wasn’t enough, reports indicate that Vlade may also be about to fire Dave Joerger as head coach. Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
Vlade Divac is pushing to consolidate his power as Kings top basketball executive, seriously weighing dismissal of coach Dave Joerger, league sources tell ESPN. Divac/Joerger set for meeting today. Joerger led Kings young core to a 39 win season. He has a year left on deal.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 11, 2019
Kings GM Vlade Divac is planning to fire coach Dave Joerger in a face-to-face meeting today, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 11, 2019
And as though that isn’t enough drama, there are reports that the Kings may be interesting in Luke Walton (assuming the Lakers fire him). This was reporte by Marc Stein of the New York Times and confirmed by Amick:
Can confirm this. And h/t to Marc for mentioning the Vlade contract extension talks being imminent yesterday. https://t.co/IuZ5aRcdY5— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) April 11, 2019
We will continue to keep you updated as today’s events unfold, and there will be plenty of time for analysis. For now, I’m simply at a loss for words.
Update 1: We have some additional information on potential coaching candidates.
Can confirm @wojespn report that Kings GM Vlade Divac will fire coach Dave Joerger today. Lakers coach Luke Walton - if available - is the clear frontrunner here, per sources. Former New Orleans coach Monty Williams is also a strong candidate, as is Spurs asst. Ettore Messina.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) April 11, 2019
Monty Williams, now with Philly, will have interest beyond the Kings as well. As for Spurs assistant Ettore Messina, my understanding is that he would definitely want the job. The combo of being one of Europe's most successful coaches ever and a Popovich disciple is strong— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) April 11, 2019
Another candidate to watch, I'm told: Ettore Messina, currently w/ the Spurs. https://t.co/7T6nOZ2kd3— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) April 11, 2019
Walton, Monty Williams, and Ettore Messina represent a caliber of coaching candidates the Kings have not been able to attract in the past. The fact that Messina is apparently interested in the job is encouraging.
More updates as more information becomes known.
Update 2: The Kings have officially announced the firing of Dave Joerger and released the following statement:
Today, Sacramento Kings General Manager Vlade Divac announced that Dave Joerger has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the team.
“After evaluating the season, I determined that we need to move in a different direction in order to take us to the next level,” said Kings General Manager Vlade Divac. “On behalf of the entire Kings organization, I want to thank Dave for his contributions to our team and I wish him all the best.”
Joerger was named Sacramento’s head coach in May of 2016 after spending three years as head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies. During his time with the Kings, he coached the team to a record of 98-148 (.398).