Kings GM Vlade Divac welcomes new head coach Luke Walton after agreeing to 4-year deal
The Sacramento Kings and newly extended general manager Vlade Divac were quick to pounce on the chance to sign Luke Walton as head coach after he was fired from the Los Angeles Lakers after three seasons. Divac was given a four-year extension that will keep him in Sacramento until the 2022-23 season, and he gave Walton a four-year deal that will match that of his tenure in the front office:
Divac offered up this statement as the Walton hiring became official:
“I have known Luke for many years and I am so excited to welcome him and his family to the Sacramento Kings,” said Kings General Manager Vlade Divac. “I look forward to his leadership on the court as we work to build a winning culture for many years to come.”
The Kings agreed in principle with Walton less than 24 hours after he was fired from his position with the Lakers, giving him a clear slate with another young roster that fell nine games short of making the playoffs this season.
The 39-year-old coach will get to mentor the likes of De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley III, as well as reunite with one of his former projects in Harrison Barnes, who he coached as an assistant of the Golden State Warriors.
Sacramento will expect to take the next step and make the playoffs next year after making an unforeseen jump as one of the most impressive teams in the West. The Kings started off 30-26, but tailed off with a 9-17 mark in the latter stretch off the season, leaving them well short of the last playoff seed.