Kings’ Divac fires Joerger after 39-win season

The Kings are moving on from coach Dave Joerger, The team announced Thursday it has fired its third-year coach on the heels of his best season in Sacramento.

Joerger, who had one year and approximately $5 million remaining on his contract, led the Kings to a 39-43 record during the 2018-19 season — a 12-win improvement from the year before. Sacramento missed the playoffs for the third straight season under Joerger, going 98-148 (.398) overall during his tenure.

“After evaluating the season, I determined that we need to move in a different direction in order to take us to the next level,” Kings general manager Vlade Divac said in a release. “On behalf of the entire Kings organization, I want to thank Dave for his contributions to our team and I wish him all the best.” The news comes after Divac agreed to a four-year extension with Sacramento to keep him through the 2022-23 season. ESPN reported “Divac is pushing to consolidate his power as Kings top basketball executive” and will hold a meeting Thursday to fire Joerger.

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A separate ESPN report revealed there has been growing tension between Joerger and the front office, while The Athletic noted there has been a trust issue between Joerger and assistant general manager Brandon Williams for much of the season.

One potential candidate to replace Joerger is Luke Walton, The New York Times reported. The Lakers coach has faced speculation all season about his future with Los Angeles. After former Lakers president Magic Johnson stepped down Tuesday, reports surfaced that Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss had given Johnson permission to fire Walton.

The Kings lost to 136-131 to the Trail Blazers on Wednesday when Joerger decided to sit his starters in the second half. Sacramento managed to lose a 28-point lead from the first half.

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