The Sacramento Kings took a cautious approach when they anointed Keith Smart head coach seven games into the 2011-12 season.  The former Golden State Warriors head coach originally received a two-year contract, but the second season was a team option.

Today, he got the endorsement he was looking for in the form of a contract extension into the 2013-14 season.  Smart finished last year with a 20-39 record, but it was the change in team chemistry and the clear strides by big man DeMarcus Cousins that made the most impact.

Smart made a handful of bold moves during the season, including the promotions of Jason Thompson and Isaiah Thomas to the starting line-up, and the shifting Tyreke Evans to small forward.  Regarded as a players’ coach, Smart has traveled across the country visiting his team this offseason.  Last week, 10 of them returned the favor when they showed up for a voluntary mini-camp in Sacramento.

After the jump is the official press release from the Kings announcing the extension.

KINGS EXTEND KEITH SMART’S CONTRACT

SACRAMENTO, CA —- The Sacramento Kings today extended the contract of Head Coach Keith Smart for the 2013-14 season, it was announced by Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie.

“Keith’s extension gives us the stability we need to continue the development of our team,” Petrie said. “He has the commitment, energy and vision necessary to succeed in building a winning team. We are all looking forward to working with him as we pursue an exciting and productive future.”

Smart was named Sacramento’s head coach on January 5, 2012, becoming the franchise’s 24th head coach. In his first season with the Kings, Smart compiled a 20-39 coaching mark. He has a lifetime record of 65-116 (.359) in three seasons with the Sacramento Kings (2011-12), Golden State Warriors (2010-11), and Cleveland Cavaliers (2002-03).

“I’m excited to continue this process with the Kings,” Smart said. “We’re trying to get our franchise moving in the right direction. The goal is to keep moving in that positive direction, and I’m glad that I get that opportunity. It’s been great working with Geoff and his staff and communicating with the Maloofs in this process.”