As we near the conclusion of the NBA's Regular Season and the Sacramento Kings are still - somehow - within striking distance of the Play-In Tournament, there are whispers that Head Coach Luke Walton may be kept around for another season. The Athletic's Shams Charania and Sam Amick reported last week that Walton may not be on the hot seat due to his strong relationships with his players and General Manager Monte McNair, as well as a Maloofian cost factor - Walton is owed $11.5 million on his contract after this season. De'Aaron Fox also gave Walton his support in a recent interview with SI's Howard Beck, saying that Walton is "someone that I've grown to trust" and that "Everybody wants to continue to grow together and keep this group together, and continue to play for a coach that you trust in..."
We had friend to all Kings fans Jill Adge on the podcast to discuss all the pros and cons for keeping Walton for another season. We talked about this late season surge, debated the argument for locker room continuity, and went through Jill's favorite Head Coach options if the Kings decide to move on from Walton. Some of Jill's favorite options include Denver Nuggets' Associate Head Coach Wes Unseld Jr., Philadelphia 76ers' Assistant Coach Sam Cassell, San Antonio Spurs' Assistant Coach Becky Hammon, and Los Angeles Clippers' Assistant Coach Kenny Atkinson.
Personally, I see few pros and many cons to keeping Walton around - any coach who suffers more than one nine-game losing streak shouldn't be kept around, in my book. But I do know that we, as fans with no access or insight to the locker room this season, don't see how the team is supporting Walton or are hoping for another season with him. It's also fair to say that this team could have fully quit on Walton many times this season, and yet they're still playing tough and mostly together on a nightly basis.
But if Monte McNair does feel that Walton should be kept for another season, he better be right on this gamble. If the Kings flounder around .500 after another season with Walton, it may not just be Walton whose time in Sacramento could be cut short.
Had a listen yesterday. Jill had some really good candidates as replacements for Walton, and backed up each of them with solid reasoning and detail.
There is a chance, but it rides entirely on the premise that Luke Walton becomes a former head coach for the rest of his life.
Thanks for doing these podcasts.
I don’t give a shit if Fox or the players trust or like Walton. Who cares. A perennial losing team likes its coach? Fuck that.
If he sticks around I believe it’s a Vivek decision. Either that or McNair is an idiot too, which I don’t think he is.
If Luke sticks I’m probably done w the Kings until or unless Vivek fucks off.
Agreed, considering (apparently) the reason Joerger was fired was because there wasn’t a love connection with his roster.
This whole thing has been rattling around in my head for a while. As I’ve said previously, I’m pretty agnostic about Walton’s job status going into next season. I can see the obvious Pros for replacing him, but I also think a lot of people are downplaying the obvious Cons. Here’s how I see it:
Objective Pros for new coach:
Objective Cons for new coach:
Subjective Pros for new coach:
Subjective Cons for a new coach:
Anyways, that’s it. I think I’d be more comfortable with a change if McNair goes into it with a short list of coaches he knows will take the job. If the Kings go into the search not knowing who is actually willing to take the job, then I think I might prefer the status quo.
Also, I don’t know if this is possible, but I’d be okay if McNair waited to make the decision until after the draft lotto. If the Kings jumped into the top 5, then that would probably make the Kings job more attractive.
I really appreciate the thought you put into both sides of this
Nice job with the pros and cons. But what will The Meddler do?
You’re welcome. It was one of those things that was stuck in my head, and I needed to get it out.
Very comprehensive list. Thanks for putting this together.
Fox’s comment on Walton files under the what do you expect him to say category.
how does he look saying Walton is a weak coach not performing when asked by the media? Like a bad organization member
I was a day late and a dollar short on the “how to fix the Kings” thread, but the idea of WHO replaces Walton (similar to WHO or WHAT we trade MB3 and Buddy for) was something I wanted to talk about. it wasn’t addressed a ton in most of the posts on that thread.
I think the short list of names for me would include Mike Budenholzer (if let go), Jerry Stackhouse, David Vanterpool, Charles Lee and to a lesser extent David Adleman or Becky Hammon (though I know them more by name than what they’re excelling at).
I agree with Greg. If Luke can’t be replaced by a sure-fire, going to come to SAC if offered, defensive guru who will keep the pace and player development up, I’m not convinced he HAS to go this year. I’ll be less convinced of it if we sneak into the playoffs (BEAT LA) and more convinced of it if we land a high lottery pick because it might be easier to pull someone else. But, despite my complaints about Walton, I’m not going to complain if he goes or stays at this point.
Whoops, not Greg, but Bratz.
lol I didn’t see the donate now part when I copied the link!
Always trolling for that sweet sweet TKH patreon skrilla.
Interesting candidates out there. Good podcast.