It’s good to have an owner that wants you.
As we told you this morning saying this could happen, new Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive was a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors and got to know much sought after assistant coach Mike Malone that way (Malone had come to the Bay Area after being an assistant coach in New Orleans). So when Ranadive got his own team he went hard after Malone from the outset.
And he got his man, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
The Sacramento Kings have reached an agreement in principle on a four-year contract to hire Golden State assistant Mike Malone as head coach, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The deal is reportedly for $9 million total with fourth year a team option.
This is a good hire by the Kings, Malone is one of the most respected assistant coaches in the league and a guy who deserved a crack at the big chair a while ago. After years of the poor ownership by the Maloofs and a lack of direction that bled down to the court, this is a good step to remedy that.
He takes over a team with a couple nice young pieces — DeMarcus Cousins being the key one, if Malone can get him to be disciplined — but that needs some work.
What is unconventional is Ranadive and the Kings have yet to hire a general manager to replace Geoff Petrie. Usually you want the GM to pick his coach, a guy he can work with to implement his style. Now the Kings need to find a GM that will fit with Malone.
Malone replaces Keith Smart, who was brought in because he has a good relationship with Cousins but the team showed little player development the past couple seasons.
Golden State’s Mike Malone has been in the group with Brian Shaw and Mike Budenholzer the past few years — top assistant coaches that get interviews but have yet to land in the big chair.
That could be about to change for Malone — it’s a good thing when the owner wants you.
And the new owner of the Kings wants him, reports Ric Bucher of CSNBayArea.com on Sulia.
Warriors owner Joe Lacob used what he learned as a Celtics’ minority partner to shape his new team. Vivek Ranadive, former Warriors minority owner and now presumptive Kings primary owner, apparently is doing the same, beginning with putting Warriors assistant coach Mike Malone on his list of candidates to be the Kings’ next head coach, a source said.
Malone also is said to be in the mix for the Los Angeles Clippers job, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com. Why? Because Chris Paul likes him, of course. Malone was the lead assistant for Monty Williams in New Orleans Chris Paul’s last year there and he really liked playing for him.
But it will come down to owners, which may give the Kings an advantage. Clippers owner Donald Sterling is personally involved in the coaching search for his team (he hired Vinny Del Negro after being charmed by him even though management wanted someone else). He realizes the Clippers are on the verge of contention and while maybe the untested Malone can get them there he seems to be thinking veteran coach (think Nate McMillan).
In the Kings case, the owner knows and apparently likes Malone. The Kings have some potential — if you can get the best out of DeMarcus Cousins nightly — but that is a project where Malone can learn some on the job because the team is rebuilding still. Don’t be shocked if other names like Brian Shaw come into the mix in Sacramento as Ranadive tries to replicate the kind of turnaround in Sacramento that Lacob had with Golden State.
It looks more and more like the rumor that Jacque Vaughn is the frontrunner for the Magic head coaching job is a lot more realty than gossip.
Both Brian Shaw and Mike Malone — the first two guys interviewed for the job — have pulled their names out of consideration.
Shaw, the former Phil Jackson right hand man and current Pacers lead assistant, pulled his name out, as did Warriors lead assistant Mike Malone, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Malone interviewed this weekend for the Portland coaching position that is open.
Spurs assistant and former NBA player Vaughn was rumored to be the guy in the lead for the Magic job and this pretty much confirms it.