The Sacramento Kings and George Karl are progressing on a four-year contract worth between $4 million to $5 million a season to become head coach of the Sacramento Kings, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Tyrone Corbin will coach the final two Kings' games before the All-Star break Tuesday at Chicago and Wednesday at Milwaukee, and – barring an unforeseen snag – Karl will take over as head coach afterward, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Karl's deal would include a team option on the final year of the contract in the 2017-18 season, sources said. There are still details in the contract that need to be ironed out before it can be finalized, league sources said.
Kings general manager Pete D'Allessandro and Karl, who have history together in Denver, spoke at length several times in the past few days to solidify a deal, sources said.
Karl, 63, has won 1,131 regular-season games as an NBA coach, including stops with Cleveland, Golden State, Seattle, Milwaukee and Denver.
After owner Vivek Ranadive insisted on the firing of Michael Malone – against the wishes of his front office, sources said – the Kings struggled under Corbin and turned toward Karl in the past few days.
The agents for DeMarcus Cousins – Dan Fegan and Jarinn Akana – have no issues with Karl taking over as head coach and only wanted clarification on the franchise's repeated changing of direction in its coaching search plans this season, sources said. The Kings had initially planned to let Corbin coach the rest of the season, and then conduct a full search of candidates in April.
Fegan and Akana were surprised over the timing of another coaching change, especially after they had been assured at the time of Malone's departure the franchise would wait until the offseason to conduct a full search of candidates, sources said.
Along with Cousins himself, Fegan and Akana were proponents of Malone and had been against ownership's decision to destabilize the team and fire the coach early in the season.
Karl's directive will be to reach the immensely talented, but combustible Cousins. He made the Western Conference All-Star reserves, and is averaging 23.8 points and 12.4 rebounds a game this season.
D'Alessandro informed Corbin on Friday that the organization planned to conduct an immediate search for a new coach, sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Kings have lost 12 of 14 games and 20 of 27 since the December firing of Malone.
Yahoo Sports' NBA reporter Marc J. Spears contributed to his report.
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