Luke Walton Says He's 'Very Confident' He'll Return as Kings Head Coach Next Season

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIMay 15, 2021

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 11: Luke Walton # of the Sacramento Kings looks on in the first quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden 1 Center on May 11, 2021 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton told reporters on Friday that he's "very confident" he'll return to his team's sidelines last year after his team was eliminated from playoff contention the day prior with a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Walton is finishing up his second season coaching the Kings, who are 31-39 with two games remaining. Sacramento went 31-41 in its first year under Walton.

Per Sam Amick of The Athletic, Walton's current deal runs through the 2022-23 season.

Sacramento entered Thursday with an outside chance at qualifying for the final spot in the Western Conference play-in tournament, but its 116-110 loss to Memphis eliminated any final hope.

The Kings have been left out of the playoffs for 15 straight years now after enjoying eight straight seasons of playoff appearances in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Sacramento has shown promise and potential to break that cold streak, especially with exciting talents such as De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton taking the floor.

However, injuries and illness have prevented the Kings from reaching their full potential this year, to the point where only Richaun Holmes and Buddy Hield stand as the only two players who have taken the court for 60 or more of the Kings' 70 games.

Sacramento still was able to stay in play-in contention until the last week of the season despite its shorthanded roster, providing hope that the Kings could finally break the playoff-less spell next year.