With the reports that Sacramento Kings assistant coach Jordi Fernandez is set to become the next head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, Sacramento head coach Mike Brown addressed the topic ahead of his team's NBA Play-In Tournament game against the Golden State Warriors:

Said the Kings coach, “Whoever gets him would definitely be very, very lucky to have him as their head coach.”

Many within league circles have viewed Fernandez, a defensive specialist, as a prime candidate to elevate from the bench to a head coaching position over the last year. Before he was with the Kings, the 41-year-old was a player development coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2009 to 2016 and served as an assistant with the Denver Nuggets from 2016 to 2022.

He also has brief head-coaching experience, leading the Canadian national team to a bronze medal in the FIBA World Cup this summer. That stint caught the eye of NBA executives.

Brooklyn struggled this year in their first full season of the post-Kevin Durant-Kyrie Irving era. Brooklyn finished with a 32-50 record, the ninth worst in the NBA. They enter the offseason with a roster headlined by Mikal Bridges, Cam Thomas, Cam Johnson and impending free agent Nic Claxton.

However, with known aspirations to acquire a star, it's uncertain which players will remain a part of the long-term picture.

Kings aiming to make playoffs

Sacramento Kings fans cheer during action against the Portland Trail Blazers in the third quarter at the Golden 1 Center.
© Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

After a promising 2023-24 season, the Kings are gearing up for the NBA Playoffs. The Kings earned the ninth seed in the Western Conference, which puts them against the Warriors in the first round of the NBA Play-In Tournament. The matchup is a rematch from 2023's first-round playoff battle.

Sacramento entered the 2023-24 season with high hopes after a stellar run. The Kings finished the previous year with a record of 48-34 and made the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2006. Sacramento was the West's third seed and took on a fiery Warriors team in the first round.

The matchup proved to be one for the ages, as the Kings battled the Warriors for seven games. Sacramento entered the final game of the series with home-court advantage, hoping their beam would help them to the second round. However, Golden State won Game 7 123-120 off a monster 50-point performance from Steph Curry.

Steph got the best of De'Aaron Fox in 2023's playoff battle. Most notably, Curry scored 50 points in Game 7, while Fox only amassed 16. The star Kings guard does not want a repeat of his team's downfall, and his 2023-24 production exemplifies his resolve to help his team win.

Fox averaged a career-high 26.6 points along with 5.6 assists, and 4.6 rebounds this season. In addition, he notched two steals per night, which led the NBA. Fox will look to play hounding defense on Curry and use his swiping skills to his advantage.

On the offensive side, Fox's three-level scoring ability should give him an advantage. Particularly, his mid-range game will be crucial for the Kings' success against Golden State. He can keep the defense honest by pulling back for a jumper after some aggressive downhill attempts.

Tuesday night's winner between the ninth-seeded Kings and 10th-seeded Warriors will advance to play the loser of the Los Angeles Lakers-New Orleans Pelicans seventh-eighth seed Play-In game.