SACRAMENTO - Just when you thought the Sacramento Kings were in a holding pattern on their coaching search, it appears they may have found their man. In a shocking turn of events, Dave Joerger was fired by the Memphis Grizzlies early Saturday morning and he may be heading to Sacramento.
Joerger asked permission from the Grizzlies to speak to other franchises about their head coaching openings, and the Kings might have jumped to the front of the list, according to The Vertical.
“The Sacramento Kings have made him their No. 1 candidate and are planning to move quickly to secure a deal with him," league sources told The Vertical.
"The Grizzlies sidestepped what could’ve been a lengthy negotiation with Sacramento about what would’ve turned out to be a conditional second-round pick as compensation for hiring Joerger," league sources told The Vertical.
The Kings have been trudging through an exhaustive search, bringing in as many as 15 candidates as they try to find the right fit. Joerger, 42, fits the bill as a young, but experienced head coach that is known for his leadership in the locker room.
In his three seasons in Memphis after taking over for Lionel Hollins, Joerger amassed a 147-99 regular season record and led the Grizzlies to the playoffs all three seasons.
“After careful consideration, I concluded that a change was needed to foster the strong culture required to achieve sustainable, long-term success for this organization the city and our fans,” Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace wrote in a prepared statement.
Joerger was scheduled to make just $2 million this upcoming season after patch working an injury and trade depleted team to the seventh seed in the Western Conference, according to The Vertical.
Despite losing Marc Gasol, Mike Conley Jr. and Brandon Wright for substantial stretches of the season, as well as Jeff Green and Courtney Lee to deadline deals, Joerger’s team continued their push for the playoffs by using free agent additions on 10-day contracts.
It wasn't the Kings who initiated contact with Memphis regarding their head coach, according to Marc Spears of The Undefeated. Joerger went to the Grizzlies and asked permission to speak to the Kings about their job opening.
The Kings coaching search has reached the three week mark. Is there an end in sight?