After a slow start to the 2021-22 NBA season, which consists of a four-game losing streak, the Sacramento Kings (5-8) 41-year-old head coach Luke Walton may reportedly be on the hot seat according to Sam Amick and Shams Charnia of the Athletic.
“With the Kings in the midst of a four-game losing streak heading into a Monday night game at Detroit, sources say the third-year coach’s job status will likely be in peril soon if the current slide continues.”
Walton was facing scrutiny last year as well when The Athletic reported that after the Kings won seven out of eight games in late January and early February that there was a sense around the franchise that Kings owner Vivek Ranadive might make a playoff berth an unofficial qualifier for Walton to keep his job.
However, that decision never came to be even as the Kings lost nine games in a row later in February and April. Walton reportedly was kept due to his approval rating in the locker room, and his strong relationship with general manager Monte McNair. Furthermore, because the Kings are desperate to end its 15-year playoff drought, the longest in franchise history, Walton won’t have as much leeway as he once did.
Though they picked up a 129-107 win Monday’s against the Detroit Pistons (3-10), the Kings have still struggled and have seen major regression and stagnation from its young stars De’Aaron Fox, 19.8 points per game down from last seasons career-high 25.2 points per game, who has been unable to replicate their magic from previous campaigns and are off to a slow start this season.
Walton was hired by Kings general manager, Vlade Divac, and has led the King a 31-41 in consecutive seasons. The two-time League champ is still guaranteed $11.5 million over the current and next campaign. The Kings play the Timberwolves (4-9) on Wednesday.
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