Luke Walton

Discussing the five best candidates to replace Luke Walton as Kings head coach

Home » NBA » Sacramento Kings » Sacramento Kings next head coach: Best candidates to replace Luke Walton

The search for the Sacramento Kings’ next head coach has officially begun. Luke Walton was finally fired as the team marched aimlessly throughout the first month of the season and it was clear that they needed a change of direction.

Sacramento Kings head coach candidates

It’s not a secret that the Kings have been a dysfunctional franchise for many years. They hold the longest playoff drought in the league right now, and it seems like the front office always finds a way to shoot themselves in the foot. Take the 2018 NBA Draft as an example, as they took Marvin Bagley III ahead of Luka Doncic.

So, it’s not like the Kings’ coaching gig is the most sought-after in the NBA. Then again, they have a promising young backcourt that could entice several suitors to try and make their pitch. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most realistic Kings’ head coach candidates.

5. Stan Van Gundy

It’s been a while since Stan Van Gundy last found success in the league and he failed to make the most of the New Orleans Pelicans’ young core. Then again, he’s always one of the first names that pop in rumors whenever there’s a vacancy.

Van Gundy’s ways seem out of date and he may not be the right guy to take them to the top of the Western Conference standings. He’s still a respected figure around the league and might get another shot at a head coach gig.


4. Alvin Gentry

Alvin Gentry was somewhat successful during his time with the Pelicans but he couldn’t prove to be the offensive mastermind some thought he was when he was a part of the Golden State Warriors’ staff. Maybe, all he needs is a change of scenery to silence his critics.

Gentry is an obvious candidate for the job as he’s already taken over as the interim coach. He’s got experience and will have a lengthy audition to prove that he’s worthy of consideration. In all honesty, he can’t do any worse than Walton.

3. Becky Hammon

It’s been long enough. We need Becky Hammon to get a shot as a head coach, and it’s not because she’s a woman. Hammon is one of the smartest people around the league, a basketball connoisseur, and a part of Gregg Popovich’s coaching tree, what else do you want?

For years, the Kings’ front office has been deemed as one of the worst in the league. Maybe, giving Hammon a shot to become the first female head coach in NBA history could be the first step to change that perception once and for all.


2. Mike D’Antoni

Mike D’Antoni’s offense is tailor-made for the Kings’ backcourt. Among all of the Kings head coach candidates, he might well be the one that could bring the best out of De’Aaron Fox. His pace-and-space offense could finally turn him into an All-Star.

D’Antoni is currently serving as an advisor for the Pelicans but we all know his true pretensions. The defense will always be a concern with D’Antoni’s teams but the offense always reaches an untapped potential. We’d love to see him coach Fox and Tyrese Haliburton.

1. Kenny Atkinson

Kenny Atkinson took a Brooklyn Nets team full of role players and D’Angelo Russell and took them to the playoffs.

He was instrumental in the development of Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris, and Jarrett Allen; yet he doesn’t get the credit he deserves.

Atkinson is currently working as an assistant coach for Steve Kerr and the Golden State Warriors but there was no true reason to fire him from the Nets, other than the fact that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving didn’t like him. He’s a great talent developer and they should give him a call right away.

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