Mike D’Antoni, Mark Jackson highlight long list of names for Kings’ coaching search

Mike D'Antoni 76ers
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In their search to find a coach who can help them break a 16-year playoff drought, the Sacramento Kings are casting a wide net.

Everyone from high profile veteran coaches, such as Mike D’Antoni and Mark Jackson, to top assistants looking for their first job, such as Darvin Ham of Milwaukee or Will Hardy of Boston, were mentioned in a series of reports that broke Friday. Here are the reports, from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and Shams Charania of The Athletic.

That list will likely not be final. The Kings’ coaching job is available because they let go of Alvin Gentry, the interim coach who replaced Luke Walton.

Whoever becomes the new Kings coach will feel pressure to win from Day 1, at least enough to make the playoffs (which will not be easy in a West where the Nuggets and Clippers get healthy and other teams improve).

The big question: What kind of team are the Kings? What is their identity? There’s some talent on the roster, but the new coach will need to find a way to mesh the games of stars De'Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, not to mention role players such as Harrison Barnes and Davion Mitchell. And, he’s got to find a way to get this team to defend, which has been their biggest issue for years (and Sabonis is not a help on that end of the court).

On top of it all, the new coach has to hope GM Monte McNair can continue to keep owner Vivek Ranadive more at arm’s length from basketball operations decisions. It’s not going to be easy to win immediately in Sacramento, but that’s the ask.