The Sacramento Kings are down to just an 8.8% chance of making the playoffs, and they might be on their way out if they don’t make some changes soon. One possible solution is moving from city-owned Sleep Train Arena into a new arena with more modern amenities at a different location.
The “wizards play-in” is a move that the lowly Sacramento Kings are contemplating. The team has been one of the worst in the NBA for years, and it’s time to make a change.
The Sacramento Kings have been the NBA’s laughingstock for the last 15 years. They haven’t had a successful season or made the playoffs since 2006, and they’ve gone through ten head coaches during that time.
The Kings hoped that hiring Luke Walton would finally lift them out of the Western Conference cellar, but it’s been more of the same for Sacramento under the 41-year-old head coach. The Kings are finally considering letting go of their most recent employee after a 5-8 start to the season.
To be honest, it’s a long-overdue choice.
Luke Walton has been an underwhelming addition to the Kings’ roster.
Luke Walton, the Sacramento Kings’ head coach, stands on the bench | Christian Petersen/Getty Images
After 13 years of ineptitude, the Kings made what they hoped would be a game-changing appointment in 2019 when they signed Walton to a four-year contract to become their next head coach.
After two seasons as an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors at their peak, Walton was tipped to be the next great NBA head coach. During the 2015-16 season, the up-and-comer even stood in for Steve Kerr and guided the Warriors to a 39-4 record.
However, anybody with half a brain could have done the same with the NBA’s most dominating regular season squad.
The Los Angeles Lakers paid Walton $25 million to become their head coach in the 2016 summer, but he failed to live up to the promise. In three seasons with the Lakers, Walton has a total record of 98-148. Despite the fact that he failed to make the playoffs even once during that period, the Kings saw enough in him to employ him as their head coach in 2019.
Despite having top lottery selections De’Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley, and Buddy Hield on his squad, Walton’s first two seasons in charge resulted in a 31-41 record and a 12th-place finish in the Western Conference. Again, there are no playoff appearances on the horizon.
The Kings had the lowest defensive rating in the NBA last season, with a rating of 117.2. Despite this, Sacramento gave Walton another shot.
The Kings are considering letting Walton go.
Last season, Walton’s job seemed to be in jeopardy after the Kings went on two separate nine-game losing streaks and missed the playoffs for the 15th consecutive season. Despite the fact that the club did not progress from Year 1 to Year 2 of Walton’s tenure, the Kings chose to retain him on for another season.
However, Walton’s time in Sactown may be running short.
According to a report from Sam Amick and Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Kings are considering dismissing Walton after a 5-8 start to the season.
Sacramento has dropped four consecutive games, three of which have been against losing opponents. With the Detroit Pistons, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Toronto Raptors on the schedule, the Kings have a relatively easy run ahead of them. If they lose all three and fall to 5-11, Walton’s season may be over.
A long-overdue show of strength
When the Kings ultimately decide to end their Walton experiment, they will be making the correct choice, but it has already lasted a few months longer than it should have.
This is a talented, youthful group that should only get better with more time under its head coach’s tutelage, but it’s only gone in the other direction in the last two years. Even when the NBA expanded to ten playoff teams in each conference, Walton couldn’t make it through the play-in round last season. That, along with the fact that Sacramento had the poorest defensive rating in the league, should have been enough to send Walton packing this summer.
Sacramento hasn’t showed much life this season, however, with Harrison Barnes being the only player who seems to have progressed from last season. If the Kings do not replace Walton with a new face soon, Fox’s prime may be wasted.
Walton has been a head coach in the NBA for five complete seasons, and none of them have ended with a winning record. Walton’s fluky temporary stint coaching Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson at their prime may have deceived the Kings, but he’s just not the right fit for this continuously developing organization.
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Marvin Bagley, who is stuck on the bench with the Sacramento Kings, is putting Ben Simmons’ strategy to the test.
The “washington wizards vs boston celtics” is a matchup that will take place tonight. The lowly Sacramento Kings are contemplating a long-overdue power move that could save them from yet another lost season.
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