Kings Rumors: Mike D'Antoni, Terry Stotts, Mike Brown Among HC Targets

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVApril 9, 2022

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni reacts to a call during the second half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

The Sacramento Kings reportedly aren't expected to retain interim head coach Alvin Gentry and will seek a "proven coach who can bring an immediate halt to the longest playoff drought in league history" during the offseason.

NBA insider Marc Stein reported Saturday the Kings' initial list of candidates includes Mike Brown, Steve Clifford, Mike D'Antoni and Terry Stotts.

Sacramento, which fired head coach Luke Walton in November, has been eliminated from playoff contention with a 29-51 record. It last qualified for the postseason in 2006.

The Kings made a blockbuster deal ahead of February's trade deadline, acquiring All-Star forward Domantas Sabonis along with Justin Holiday and Jeremy Lamb from the Indiana Pacers for Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield and Tristan Thompson.

It wasn't enough to spark a surge into the Western Conference's play-in tournament, but it still gives Sacramento a tandem of Sabonis and De'Aaron Fox to build around.

Making the right coaching hire will play a key role in whether the team can make a leap in 2022-23.

Brown owns seven-plus seasons of NBA head coaching experience from two stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers and one with the Los Angeles Lakers. He guided the Cavs to an appearance in the 2007 NBA Finals, where they lost to the San Antonio Spurs.

The 52-year-old Ohio native, who's won three NBA titles as an assistant coach, holds a 347-216 regular-season record as a head coach and a 47-36 mark in the playoffs. He's been a member of the Golden State Warriors' staff since 2016.

Clifford, 60, owns head coaching experience with the Charlotte Hornets (2013-18) and Orlando Magic (2018-21). His teams made the postseason in four of eight seasons but never advanced beyond the first round.

His career record stands at 292-345.

D'Antoni is a two-time NBA Coach of the Year who's led the staffs of the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets. He's currently working as a consultant for the New Orleans Pelicans.

The former NBA point guard is known for his innovative offensive system, but whether that's the right fit for a team that's struggled defensively is up for debate. His teams have gone 672-527 in the regular season but a less impressive 54-56 in the playoffs.

Stotts, 64, stepped away from the Portland Trail Blazers after last season and took a year off of the sideline but will be a "coveted name" this summer, per Stein. He's also served as head coach of the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks.

Like D'Antoni, his regular-season record is solid at 517-486, but that hasn't translated to postseason success, with a 23-44 mark and six first-round exits in nine appearances.

The Kings' search will begin in earnest after they wrap up the campaign with road games Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers and Sunday against the Phoenix Suns.