- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
The Sacramento Kings are progressing rapidly in discussions with Dave Joerger, with a Monday meeting that will include owner Vivek Ranadive being the final hurdle to Joerger’s hiring as head coach, league sources told The Vertical.
The Kings fetched Joerger and his family in a private jet for a Sunday visit in Northern California, and Joerger and Kings vice president of basketball operations Vlade Divac spent considerable time discussing a partnership, league sources said.
The framework of a contract has been moving into place over the weekend, taking the shape of a three-year deal in the neighborhood of $4 million a year, league sources said.
Divac met with Joerger and shared ideas on how they would work together to try to make the franchise a playoff team again. Sacramento has gone through multiple head coaches and front-office executives in recent years, struggling to find stability in the organization.
For the Kings, Joerger represents the opportunity to hire a proven, winning head coach who has distinguished himself in both the regular season and playoffs.
The Kings showed their seriousness in Joerger by using a private jet Saturday to gather him in Tennessee and then get his wife and children in Nebraska, bringing them together to Sacramento, league sources said.
After Joerger’s firing as Memphis Grizzlies coach on Saturday, the teams no longer had to concern themselves with working out a draft-compensation agreement, and the framework of a potential deal with the Kings started to take shape immediately, league sources said.
Joerger will have the autonomy to hire his own assistant coaching staff, and there’s doubt about his commitment to bringing members of his Grizzlies staff with him to the Kings, league sources said. Elston Turner is expected to join him, and another candidate – veteran NBA and college coach Bill Bayno – is likely to join Joerger on the bench as well, sources said.
After months of internal acrimony, Memphis fired Joerger on Saturday morning. For the second time in three years, Joerger and his agent had sought Memphis’ permission to speak to other teams about head-coaching openings, with the Kings foremost in those conversations, sources said.
As it became clearer that Joerger didn’t believe in the talent assembled in Memphis – nor wanted to honor the two years left on his contract – Memphis made the move to let him go.
In three seasons as head coach, Joerger was 147-99 (.598) and 9-13 in the playoffs. The Grizzlies reached the conference semifinals in 2015, losing to the eventual champion Golden State Warriors. Joerger spent 10 years in the minor leagues as a coach before reaching the NBA as a Memphis assistant in 2007.
More NBA coverage from The Vertical: