The Sacramento Kings have parted ways with coach Dave Joerger, concluding a move that was widely reported throughout the day.
Via a statement from the team, Kings GM Vlade Divac said Joerger had been relieved of his duties as coach, saying: "After evaluating the season, I determined that we need to move in a different direction in order to take us to the next level. 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."
News of the move began percolating Thursday shortly after the Kings gave GM Vlade Divac a contract extension that will keep him in that role until at least 2022-23.
Shortly after that took place, news began to bubble up that Divac would be firing coach Dave Joerger by the end of the day. Per multiple reports -- and first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski -- the Kings intended to fire Joerger in a face-to-face meeting. That news was also confirmed by Sam Amick of The Athletic.
Wojnarowski reports that Divac fired assistant general manager Brandon Williams earlier this morning. Per Wojnarowski, the relationship between Joerger and management may have lead to his ousting:
Tension between management and Joerger on playing time for certain young players and relationship strains have existed, but there had been some thought that the Kings' significant overperformance based up on preseason expectations would've forced the organization to continue the partnership.
Hours later, Wojnarowski reported the Kings had fired Joerger after three seasons on the job.
Kings fired coach Dave Joerger, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 11, 2019
Per reports, the Kings are considering several names for the opening, including Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton (if he becomes available) as well as former New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams (who is currently an assistant coach on the Philadelphia 76ers). Additionally, San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina may also be up for the job as well.
Kings GM Vlade Divac is planning to fire coach Dave Joerger in a face-to-face meeting today, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 11, 2019
Can confirm @wojespn report that Kings GM Vlade Divac will fire coach Dave Joerger today. Lakers coach Luke Walton - if available - is the clear frontrunner here, per sources. Former New Orleans coach Monty Williams is also a strong candidate, as is Spurs asst. Ettore Messina.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) April 11, 2019
Joerger engineered the Kings most successful season since 2006, but Divac is consolidating power around himself. Philadelphia assistant Monty Williams has been a primary target for Kings management, sources said. He's expected to be a candidate for openings elsewhere this spring. https://t.co/fyKLDDbRuH— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 11, 2019
Joerger had one year remaining on his contract. Wojnarowski reported earlier on Thursday that Divac was "pushing to consolidate his power" as the top executive of the Kings and firing Joerger was part of that plan.
Vlade Divac is pushing to consolidate his power as Kings top basketball executive, seriously weighing dismissal of coach Dave Joerger, league sources tell ESPN. Divac/Joerger set for meeting today. Joerger led Kings young core to a 39 win season. He has a year left on deal.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 11, 2019
Joerger had coached the Kings since 2016 and has helped the team steadily improve. Sacramento went 39-43 this year, its best record since its last playoff season in 2005-06. The Kings have several talented young players acquired by Divac -- guards De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield, forward Marvin Bagley III and center Willie Cauley-Stein.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.