Reports: Sacramento Kings hire Mike Malone as new head coach

Warriors assistant Mike Malone chats with guard Stephen Curry during game vs. Kings. (Photo: Steven Chea)

Vivek Ranadivé has taken the first major step in his rebuild of the Sacramento Kings.  According to multiple reports, Ranadivé and his new ownership group will tab Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Malone to lead their new regime.

Malone is reported to receive a three-year contract with a team option for a fourth season.  If he lasts through the duration of the deal, Malone is expected to earn an excess of $9 million.  Malone’s hiring will not be officially announced until the sale of the team closes escrow tomorrow evening.

The hiring of Malone leaves Kings coach Keith Smart without a job for the second time in three seasons.  Smart took over for Paul Westphal seven games into the 2011-12 lockout-shortened season then signed a deal that kept him under contract through next year.  The former Kings coach found himself without a job following the 2010-11 season after the Warriors cut ties with him after one season at the helm.

While it appears the Ranadivé group has found their coach, the Kings are still in the midst of searching to replace Geoff Petrie, their long-time president of basketball operations.  Petrie has been with the organization for 19 years and has a contract set to expire by the end of next month.  Ranadivé is reportedly considering another man with Warriors connections in Travis Schlenk, who currently serves as Golden State’s assistant general manager and director of player personnel, to replace Petrie.

Chris Wallace of the Memphis Grizzlies and former Indiana Pacers GM David Morway are thought to be in consideration as well.  Another reported candidate, Spurs GM R.C. Buford, told the San Antonio Express News today that he has no interest in leaving the lone star state.  The Oklahoma City Thunder reportedly denied the Kings from interviewing assistant GM Troy Weaver for the job.

Who is Mike Malone?

  • 12 seasons of NBA assistant coaching experience.
  • Worked under Jeff Van Gundy in New York, Mike Brown in Cleveland, Monty Williams in New Orleans and Mark Jackson in Golden State.
  • Has served as an assistant for the Canadian Men’s Basketball Team since 2007.
  • Before the NBA, worked seven years in the college ranks: Oakland University in Michigan, Providence College, University of Virginia and Manhattan College.
  • Son of long-time NBA coach Brendan Malone.  Under Chuck Daly, the elder Malone played an integral role in constructing the defenses that powered the Detroit Pistons to two NBA championships in 1989 and 1990.

H/T USA Today Sports, ESPN.com, Yahoo! Sports.

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