Michael Malone has not yet named anyone to his coaching staff. But two strong candidates who could join him were spotted during the Sacramento Kings’ pre-draft workouts this morning and afternoon.
Chris Jent and Roy Rogers were in attendance for today’s pre-draft auditions in Sacramento. Jent is in the running to become Malone’s lead assistant while Rogers would likely lend his expertise as a big man coach.
“There’s nothing formal on that,” Malone said when asked if hiring both Jent and Rogers was a done deal. “Obviously, I have some guys that I’m definitely looking at. I’m gonna try to hire the best staff I can and when we’re ready to announce that, we’ll let you guys know.”
Malone says that he hopes to have four assistants on his staff. With his father Brendan Malone expected to join him, adding Jent and Rogers would leave one spot open for another assistant. Malone says he also plans on hiring a few player development coaches to help with specific skills training and tasks.
“For me, having player development staff is so important that can spend time with these guys – whatever time of day,” Malone said. “We always want to have our gym covered. And if guys want to come back late at night, we want that to be accessible to them.”
Rogers is mulling over the opportunity to come to Sacramento after two seasons in Detroit under recently fired head coach Lawrence Frank. Rogers worked closely with the Pistons’ big men, including 23-year-old center Greg Monroe.
Meanwhile, Jent has spent the last two years coaching at Ohio State, his alma mater. He and Malone worked in Cleveland together under current head coach Mike Brown until 2010. Along with former assistant Bobby Jackson, Jent helped facilitate today’s workouts that featured 12 NBA prospects.
If Jent is hired, Malone could rely on his experience at the college level to help him in the pre-draft process.
“We played against each other back in high school and he’s recruited a lot of the top players in the country,” Malone said of Jent. “And being in the Big Ten, which was the best conference in college basketball this year, he can offer some insight, seeing those guys a lot more than I have.”
The Kings’ pre-draft workout today featured a bevvy of point guards, including a match-up between two potential lottery picks in Michael Carter-Williams of Syracuse and C.J. McCollum of Lehigh. Malone, who’s been very hands on in the workouts they’ve conducted, is pleased with what he’s seen so far.
“For me, we want to see obviously the skill level,” Malone said of what he’s looking for when assessing this year’s NBA hopefuls. “But most importantly, I want to put players in competitive situations and see how they compete. Are they multiple effort type players? Can they guard their position? Can they fight through fatigue? Those kinds of things, all the intangibles.
“Our scouts, our front office, they’ve been scouting these guys all year long,” Malone added. “You can look up a stat sheet and find out what their percentages are. I want to get into the intangibles. I want to see what kind of a heart they have, what kind of a competitive soul that they have and see if they can fit into the culture that we’re trying to create.”