Kings fire coach Dave Joerger after 39-win season, report says

Reports indicate there has been growing tension between Joerger and the front office.

The Kings are moving on from coach Dave Joerger,

ESPN reported Thursday that the team has fired its third-year coach on the heels of his best season in Sacramento.

Joerger, who had one year and approximately $5 million remaining on his contract, led the Kings to a 39-43 record during the 2018-19 season after going 27-55 the year before. Sacramento missed the playoffs for the third straight season under Joerger.

The news comes after general manager Vlade Divac agreed to a four-year extension with Sacramento to keep him through the 2022-23 season. ESPN  reported  “Divac is pushing to consolidate his power as Kings top basketball executive” and will hold a meeting Thursday to fire Joerger.

A separate ESPN report revealed there has been growing tension between Joerger and the front office, while The Athletic noted there has been a trust issue between Joerger and assistant general manager Brandon Williams for much of the season.

One potential candidate to replace Joerger is Luke Walton, The New York Times reported. The Lakers coach has faced speculation all season about his future with Los Angeles. After former Lakers president Magic Johnson stepped down Tuesday, reports surfaced that Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss had given Johnson permission to fire Walton.

The Kings lost to 136-131 to the Trail Blazers on Wednesday when Joerger decided to sit his starters in the second half. Sacramento managed to lose a 28-point lead from the first half.

Sacramento also lost 17 of its final 26 games and went just 11-17 after acquiring small forward Harrison Barnes from Dallas on Feb. 7. The trade was intended to help bolster Sacramento’s chances of making the playoffs, but the Kings fell short.

Sacramento finished the regular season ninth in the Western Conference, nine games back from the eighth-ranked Clippers.