Vlade Divac sent seismic shockwaves through Sacramento on Friday when he stepped down as general manager of the Kings. But the coach he hired last year isn’t going anywhere for now.
Luke Walton’s job as Kings coach is safe for the 2020-21 NBA season, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports California’s James Ham.
I have now confirmed through a league source that Luke Walton will coach the Sacramento Kings next season. He is safe for now.
— James Ham (@James_HamNBCS) August 14, 2020
Divac leaving his position comes a day after the Kings returned home from a disappointing eight-game stretch during the 2019-20 NBA season restart in Orlando, Fla.
The Kings were playing well when the season was stopped in March, and entered the Walt Disney World complex with dreams of ending their 13-year NBA playoff drought. But they lost their first three games in the bubble and never were able to recover, finishing with a 31-41 record.
Walton’s first season didn’t go as Divac and the Kings had hoped. With Sacramento coming off a 39-win season last year, Walton was supposed to be the missing ingredient that would allow the Kings to take the next jump. An 0-5 start to the season put the Kings in a whole they were never able to dig out of.
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Now, Walton will get at least one season to prove himself to whoever the Kings hire as their new general manager.
Walton signed a four-year contract with the Kings last April, shortly after he parted ways with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Hall of Famer Joe Dumars, who served as an advisor for Kings owner Vivek Ranadive for the last year, has taken over as interim vice president of basketball operations and will lead the search for the team’s next GM.
Source: Luke Walton’s Kings job safe after Vlade Divac steps down originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area