UPDATE 4:49 pm: The Kings have made this official, they have hired Dave Joerger to be their next coach.
“I am thrilled to welcome Dave to the Sacramento Kings,” Kings General Manager Vlade Divac said in a statement. “He is a strong and passionate leader with a proven track record of producing results. Dave shares our focus on creating a long-term culture of winning and I look forward to a bright future ahead for the Kings with his leadership on the court.”
2:34 pm: Sacramento got its man.
The Kings wanted to hire Dave Joerger on a reported four-year, $16 million contract, and it appears they have.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
The odds looked against Sacramento landing a coach like Joerger, who won nearly 60% of his games and made the playoffs each of his three seasons guiding the Grizzlies. That’s because most coaches with that type of track record were avoiding the Kings – and Joerger wasn’t on the market.
But Joerger got fired in Memphis and found his way to a higher-paying – though maybe worse otherwise – job.
Joerger’s first order of business should be connecting with DeMarcus Cousins, who’s both immensely productive and difficult. Convincing Cousins to buy in will be much easier if he believes trusting the coach will pay off in winning. That’s where Paul Westphal, Keith Smart and Tyrone Corbin failed. Even if Cousins supported those coaches fully, they didn’t appear capable of delivering for him. Joerger must also connect with Cousins on a personal level, which is where George Karl failed.
Oh, and aid Vlade Divac building a quality roster and sidestep Vivek Ranadive’s outsized expectations (where Michael Malone “failed.)
Joerger is walking into franchise full of landmines, and it’ll take expert coaching to dig them up and build a stable foundation. Maybe he’s up to the task. He did a solid job with the Grizzlies.
But either way, at least he’s getting paid better than he was in Memphis to try. And for the hole they dug themselves into, the Kings found someone much more qualified than expected.
This isn’t destined to work – far from it. But both sides have to feel good about giving it a go.