The Sacramento Kings wasted little time filling their head coaching vacancy, reaching an agreement in principle on a four-year deal with Warriors assistant Mike Malone, sources told Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday.
Malone, a top head coaching candidate among NBA circles the past few seasons, was the only candidate under consideration by the new Kings' ownership group, headed by Vivek Ranadive. Malone was reportedly in demand, and Ranadive moved quickly to secure his preferred head coach despite not having a general manager in place.
The choice of Malone is not surprising considering Ranadive’s ties to the Warriors as a former minority owner of that franchise. He brings instant credibility to a Kings’ franchise that has been in turmoil the past year because of ownership changes and the threat of a move to Seattle.
Yahoo Sports, which first reported the agreement, said Malone's deal is for four years and $9 million, with the fourth year being a team option.
Malone, the son of former NBA coach Brendan Malone, has been an assistant in the league for more than a decade and engineered defensive turnarounds at almost every stop — which includes the Warriors, New Orleans, Cleveland and the New York Knicks. He also was an assistant at Manhattan College, Providence and Oakland University (Rochester, Mich.).
He worked under Mark Jackson the past two years with Golden State, which made the playoffs for only the second time since 1994 this season. The Warriors finished 47-35, beat Denver in the first round of the playoffs and were eliminated by eventual Western Conference champion San Antonio in six games.
Malone inherits a talented young roster in Sacramento headlined by volatile center DeMarcus Cousins that has yet to blend — or play defense. The Kings went 28-54 last season, gaining more attention for the franchise's possible move to Seattle — which NBA owners rejected — than anything positive on the court.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.