Sources: Kings owner seriously considering Chris Mullin for coaching vacancy

Owner Vivek Ranadive is giving serious consideration to hiring Chris Mullin to coach the Sacramento Kings, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, center, watches a game with Chris Mullin, left, and former 49ers back Roger Craig last season. (AP)

In the wake of Michael Malone’s firing on Sunday night, Ranadive has been soliciting counsel on Mullin’s candidacy and has grown increasingly intrigued with the kind of acumen and star power Mullin, an ownership adviser for the Kings, could bring to the franchise, sources said.

“All [Mullin] has to decide is that's what he wants and the job is his,” an NBA general manager told Yahoo Sports on Monday.

The Kings will keep Tyrone Corbin as the interim coach for the near future, but haven’t ruled out the hiring of a full-time coach sometime this season. George Karl has a strong history with general manager Pete D’Alessandro and began campaigning for the job on Monday within hours of Malone’s firing. For now, Karl’s a secondary candidate until Ranadive considers the possibility of Mullin.

Ranadive’s reference point on the NBA has often been the Golden State Warriors, with whom he had been a minority owner, and he’s been enthralled with the success of Steve Kerr. Like Kerr, Mullin would be an ex-player with a GM background making the move to coaching. Mullin is an NBA Hall of Famer who played the prime of his career in the ’80s and ’90s in Northern California with the Warriors.

Mullin hasn’t come close to committing to the coaching idea, but there’s support in ownership and in the front office for him to give it significant thought, sources said.

Karl is a strong candidate among D’Alessandro and assistant GM Mike Bratz, who worked with Karl as part of the Denver Nuggets organization. Nevertheless, Ranadive is far more intrigued with the possibility of making a splashy hire, and D’Alessandro supports the idea of Mullin if he decides he wants to commit himself to coaching, sources said. Ranadive is working to construct a new arena in Sacramento and has craved star power with the Kings.

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