The Sacramento Kings took care of one major piece to their offseason late this week when they added assistant general manager Ken Catanella. But what about the coaching search that is now nearly two weeks old?
More candidates have been added to the list and a few are even expected to come through Sacramento this week. So far we have been able to confirm that Sam Mitchell, Mike Woodson, Kevin McHale and Vinny Del Negro have all sat down with the Kings.
Depending on the outcome of the Pacers and Raptors game on Sunday, Indiana assistant and former Trail Blazers and Sonics head coach Nate McMillan, is expected to hear Sacramento’s pitch sometime soon.
CSN California has confirmed a report from Saturday that Hall of Fame big man, and current Hornets associate head coach, Patrick Ewing, has been invited in for an interview this week as well, as the Kings begin to whittle the list down.
ESPN’s Mark Jackson and Memphis Grizzlies assistant Elston Turner are also expected to discuss the job at some point.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, Vlade Divac hopes to cut down the group to three leading candidates that he will then present to ownership.
McHale’s name continues to come up most often when speaking to people on the inside, but the 58-year-old is coming off a rough season in Houston where he walked away with a $12 million payday after being let go 11 games into the season. Whether or not he wants to jump back in the game this quick is still in question.
Sacramento is the last team officially in the market for a head coach after the Lakers locked up Golden State assistant coach Luke Walton on Friday night. The New York Knicks haven’t fully committed to interim Kurt Rambis, although he is still employed more than two weeks after the end of the season. The Knicks have gone as far as interviewing David Blatt earlier in the week, but no move has been made.
The Kings have plenty of options. They came into the process knowing that it was unlikely they would land any of the big fish in Walton, Tom Thibodeau or Scott Brooks. But they have a quality grouping of candidates and they are in a solid position of power when it comes to negotiations with only one job still officially open.
Divac would like to have a coach in place sooner rather than later, but there is no harm in being thorough. Reports surfaced earlier this week that the Kings would like to have a coach in place this coming week, but a source with knowledge of the situation has confirmed that the team has not placed a timetable of the final decision.
With eight head coaches over a ten year span, the Kings are searching for a long-term solution. For the franchise’s sake, Divac and company really need to get it right this time.