Days after new ownership has taken over, the Sacramento Kings are already making changes.
Golden State Warriors assistant coach Mike Malone has agreed in principle to a four-year deal to become the next head coach for the Kings, according to multiple outlets, including the Sacramento Bee. Malone’s deal with the Kings is reportedly worth $9 million.
The defensive-minded Malone will replace Keith Smart, who was the only coach signed for next season. Smart compiled a 48-93 record with the Kings after Paul Westphal was fired as head coach.
Before joining the Warriors, Malone, 42, spent time as an assistant with the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and New Orleans Hornets, working with superstars LeBron James and Chris Paul.
He helped the Hornets become the most improved defensive team in the league during the 2010-11 NBA season, allowing 8.7 points fewer point per game than the previous season and earning a trip to the playoffs.
Malone will have his work cut out for him working with the league’s worst defense. The Kings allowed 105.11 points per game last season.
With Malone in as the new head coach, the Kings have yet to hire a new general manager with Geoff Petrie’s contract expiring at the end of June. Warriors assistant general manager Travis Schlenk and Memphis Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace have reportedly interviewed for the job.
Former general managers David Morway (Indiana) and Chris Mulin (Golden State) could also receive consideration.
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