May 9, 2016, 11:49 am
The Sacramento Kings have found their man.
After compiling a long list of compelling candidates, Kings management has tabbed former Memphis bench boss Dave Joerger to coach the Kings. Our own Aaron Bruski reported that the deal is done.
Joerger has agreed to a four year, $16 million contract. The first three years are guaranteed while Sacramento holds a team option for the fourth.
There were rumblings that Joerger was unhappy with his salary and lack of input into personnel decisions. While he’ll be earning the salary he sought, it remains to be seen if he will exercise more control over roster construction in Sacramento.
This is a good hire for the Kings. While the wheels fell off towards the end of his tenure in Memphis, Joerger made the playoffs in each of his three seasons as head coach of the Grizzlies. He won 50+ games in his first two seasons and the Grizzlies were on their way to hitting 50 wins again before injuries derailed their season. With a roster held together by glue sticks and gauze, Joerger and a cast of misfits and injury replacements held onto their playoff spot before they were throttled by the juggernaut Spurs in the first round.
It would be unfair to blame Memphis’ late season slippage on Joerger and it’s a testament to his coaching ability that the Grizzlies held on and continued to play hard through significant injuries and dwindling aspirations. The contrast is stark compared to Sacramento’s finish, where the effort card was rightly or wrongly played on an all too frequent basis.
The pairing of Joerger and DeMarcus Cousins could prove to be fruitful. In Memphis, much of the offense flowed through the imposing presences of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol and now Joerger has the ultimate post scoring threat at his disposal. Sacramento’s roster also has some decent shooting threats, particularly if they choose to bring back Seth Curry and use him properly. One of the main weaknesses of Joerger’s Memphis squads was their lack of reliable outside shooting, so Sacramento’s personnel could really open up the playbook if that’s how the new coach wants to play it. Either way, the combination of a coach who is experienced with cagey post scorers and one of the game’s premier scoring big men could lead to great things.
A new arena, a new coach and hopefully new heights for this iteration of the Sacramento Kings.