It will take more than a coaching change for the Kings to snap their 15-year playoff drought, according to veteran NBA insider Marc Stein of Substack.
While Sacramento fired coach Luke Walton on Sunday, the blame for the team’s struggles also could be place directly on Kings owner Vivek Ranadive.
“For all of the mounting criticism Walton faced in recent weeks, no coach could overcome the middling roster Sacramento still boasts nearly a decade into Ranadivé’s tenure … or a string of gaffes by the Kings just in the past three years,” Stein wrote.
Sacramento keeps missing the playoffs, meaning it keeps playing the NBA Draft Lottery. But some of those first-round picks have proven to be questionable at best.
One of those picks, forward/center Marvin Bagley III, is supposedly seeking a trade after not receiving much time under Walton, fired Sunday.
But that’s not all.
“Sacramento has certainly played its part in Bagley’s trade value eroding significantly … while also creating a curious backcourt logjam by sandwiching the draft selections of Tyrese Haliburton and Davion Mitchell around De’Aaron Fox’s elevation to max-contract cornerstone,” Stein wrote.
More from Sacramento
- Adding to the Ranadive narrative was Criss Partee of Deadspin, who wrote that ownership is largely responsible for the Kings’ issues, and “should be ousted for not having a clue.”
- As we relayed earlier, Walton showed his support for the Kings on Monday morning, thanking the organization and coaching staff. “I genuinely care for each of them and wish them nothing but success,” Walton said.
- Bagley has been linked to the Pistons, and it is believed a potential deal still exists — though Bagley may get a real opportunity under Kings interim coach Alvin Gentry.
- Gentry is likely to have the Kings pushing the tempo a bit more than they did under Walton, partially to help “to help dislodge Fox from his early-season funk,” Stein noted.
- General manager Monte McNair addressed the Walton firing, as we wrote about in an earlier post.