Vivek Ranadive has Warriors assistant Mike Malone atop his list of candidates to coach the Kings, a source tells Ric Bucher.
This isn't all that surprising considering Ranadive was a minority owner with the Warriors prior to becoming the primary owner of the Kings. Malone is a very hot coaching candidate this summer and has been mentioned in connection with most of the open jobs. Technically, Keith Smart is still the coach but he reportedly is expected to be fired.
Tyreke Evans admitted that he benefitted from playing both shooting guard and small forward for Keith Smart last season.
"Hopefully, if he does stay, we can get this thing on the road and get a playoff run," Evans said. "If not, he was a good coach to me while he was here. We'll see what happens." It's a lukewarm endorsement, but the admission that one of Smart's move actually benefited Evans is noteworthy.
Isaiah Thomas and Keith Smart are talking at least once per week discussing basketball.
This is noteworthy because IT2 wasn't shy about ripping Smart at times during the regular season. "He's a great guy, a motivator, a guy that's going to do whatever it takes to win," Thomas said. "Just like us players, we've got to improve each and every year, and he knows he's got to improve. ' I'm going to tell them he's a great coach, a great guy that really motivates you to become the best person you can be." That's a pretty strong endorsement from Thomas, but it might not be enough to save Smart.
Vivek Ranadive said he intends to resolve the front office and coaching situations "very quickly" after the sale officially closes.
Ranadive wants to meet with current coach Keith Smart, but it's been reported that Smart is expected to be shown the door. GM Geoff Petrie's contract expires at the end of June, and that is not expected to be renewed. The Kings could have a totally different look entering next season.
Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson announced Friday the deal to sell the Kings to a group led by Vivek Ranadive has been signed.
All that's left now is for the NBA to rubber stamp the deal, which should happen sometime next week. Once that's done, Ranadive's group will begin laying out plans for a new arena in Sacramento and likely part ways with GM Geoff Petrie and coach Keith Smart. Not only are the Kings staying put, but it looks like a new day is dawning in Sacramento.
The Kings are not expected to retain Keith Smart as head coach, according to USA Today.
With a new ownership group coming into place and the Kings facing a challenging future, it's possible Smart's tenure is over in Sacramento. After multiple player complaints about Smart's style and the Kings running an offense that resembled a fifth grade AAU team at times this season, we can't say we'd be surprised to see Smart let go. GM Geoff Petrie is also not expected to be retained, and Mike Malone is reportedly a candidate for the head coach gig.
The Maloofs have reached an agreement to sell the Kings to a group led by Vivek Ranadive that will keep the team in Sacramento for a valuation of $535 million.
It seems like an end to a never-ending saga that lasted for most of the season. While the vilified Maloofs get their money in this deal, the NBA is better for having one of the league's worst ownership groups no longer in the mix. Kevin Johnson has been spearheading the movement to keep the Kings and obviously won't be voted out of his position any time soon. The Kings finished at 28-54 last season, but their fans couldn't be happier to have their team remaining in Sacramento.