The Sacramento Kings officially have new owners and the rebuilding of the franchise has already begun. About 92 miles away in Oakland, the Golden State Warriors, one of their Pacific Division rivals, could see some of their staff go to Sacramento.
According to USA Today’s Sam Amick, Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadivé has met with with Geoff Petrie, the longest-tenured general manager in the NBA, and informed him that his 19-year stint with the team will be over when his contract expires at the end of June.
Amick writes that NBA legend and Warriors consultant Jerry West is helping Ranadivé, who held a minority stake in the Warriors, in his search for a new general manager.
He also reports that Warriors assistant general manager Travis Schlenk and Memphis general manager Chris Wallace have interviewed for Petrie’s position. West worked with Wallace during his time in Memphis.
Other general managers like the San Antonio’s R.C. Buford and David Morway, former of Indiana, are said to be considered as replacements for Petrie.
Former Warriors general manager Chris Mullin (2004-09) put together the “We Believe” team that took down the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the 2007 NBA Playoffs. The team narrowly missed the playoffs the next season after winning 48 games in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.
While commentating for ESPN at a Warriors playoff game, he said that he’s open to joining the Kings if he was given the opportunity:
I definitely would (be interested in the job), but you know, it’s something that’s got to be the right fit. It’s gotta be – they need my expertise…I’m not one of those people to go solicit it. But a guy like him, if he called me and he needed me, I’d love that.
Ranadivé could also clean out the Kings’ coaching staff. With the rest of the staff unsigned for next season, head coach Keith Smart has a year left on his contract and could also be out of a job. Warriors assistant coach Mike Malone is rumored to be the frontrunner and NBA columnist Peter Vecsey tweeted that the job is all but his:
Mike Malone is a living lock to be Kings’ head coach, I’m informed. Don’t know time frame of announcement, but go to sleep on it happening.
Current Warrior and former King Carl Landry spoke with the Sacramento Bee’s Jason Jones about Malone and Landry thinks that Malone he could have the same impact on the Kings that Tom Thibodeau had in Chicago’s recent resurgence:
He has the potential to have an immediate impact on the team. If he does get the job, he’d probably be the best coach they’ve had since Adelman. … He’s a guy that’s been to the Finals, been in Cleveland with LeBron (James), so he’s seen a lot and is usually in the playoffs still. … So he has that experience and he knows what it takes to win.
After missing the playoffs for seven straight seasons, with numerous failed attempts to rebuild under the old ownership, perhaps a turnaround is in order for the Kings and it never hurts to get some help.
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