Report: Mike Malone reaches deal to become Kings’ coach

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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.