May 8, 2016
Sacramento Kings' Rumors: Kings To Meet With Dave Joerger For Their Coaching Vacancy

The Sacramento Kings may have zeroed in on a couple of head coaching candidates for their coaching vacancy. In fact, the Kings will meet with a potential coach just a day after he hit the open market.

According to Mark Stein of ESPN, former Memphis Grizzlies' head coach Dave Joerger will meet with the Kings today. He is one of several former head coaches to meet with the Sacramento Kings about their job opening. Joerger could be the right coach for the job.

Joerger, who led the Grizzlies to another playoff appearance, was abruptly fired by Memphis early Saturday morning. The dismissal caught many by surprise. He led the Memphis Grizzlies to three consecutive playoff berths. This season, Joerger's coaching performance was more remarkable than in his first two seasons. The Grizzlies were bereft with injuries to top players. This included an NBA record of 28 players dressing for the Memphis Grizzlies during the season.
A disconnect between Joerger and the Grizzlies' front office was reported by ESPN months ago. Disagreements over roster decisions, including drafting Jordan Adams over Rodney Hood, was one of the many factors that led to the fallout. The Grizzlies cutting center Hassan Whiteside twice, only to witness him become a star in Miami, was an additional slap. It seems that Dave Joerger knows talent, and he is a good coach. He was last seen giving an impassioned speech after the Grizzlies were eliminated by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

With a coaching record of 147-99, one of the best in a three-year span, he is on the Sacramento Kings' radar. That is why any team with a vacancy will be interested in him. In a sense, the Grizzlies did Joerger a favor by firing him. The next team that hires him will at least pay him double of the $2 million salary he had as Memphis' coach.

What is curious about the Kings' interest in Dave Joerger is that they have already interviewed Elston Turner for the position. Turner, who was Joerger's associate head coach in Memphis, was perhaps interviewed for the same post with the Kings. That would require Sacramento to have some inside knowledge on Joerger's eventual ouster. USA Today's Sam Amick mentioned such on Twitter.

The Sacramento Kings' interest in Dave Joerger is understandable. They arguably have the NBA's best center in DeMarcus Cousins. Joerger has worked with Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph for three seasons without much of a drop-off from either player when healthy. Having dealt with a center as talented as Gasol and a personality in Randolph, Joerger may be a perfect choice to coach Cousins. DeMarcus Cousins is the key to any coach getting hired by the Kings, who want the opposite of their former coach.

Under the guidance of George Karl, the Kings grossly underachieved. Cousins played well with Karl as coach, but with the two of them always at odds, the season became a wash. George Karl is regarded as an old-school coach. DeMarcus Cousins is a new-school player. The next coach the Sacramento Kings hire has to be comfortable in building a relationship with the star of the team.

Dave Joerger created a bond with Zach Randolph despite having him come off the bench at the start of this season. The 42-year-old coach is also closer in age to Cousins, which helps. Joerger is a coach who could be firm with Cousins while helping him become a better player.

Sacramento needs a happy DeMarcus Cousins if they want to reach the playoffs. If he still on the Kings when the season starts, that is.

Cousins' name has surfaced in the rumor mill once again. The Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, and Los Angeles Lakers are possible destinations if he does get traded. However, with a new coach coming in, the Sacramento Kings should not be in any rush to make a trade.

Will the Kings rush in hiring a coach now that they are set to interview Dave Joerger, who suddenly hit the open market?

Other coaches who the Sacramento Kings are interested in include David Blatt and Frank Vogel.

[Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images]