SACRAMENTO -- The last time Vlade Divac conducted a coaching search, it spanned weeks with more than 10 candidates drawing interviews. With a new extension in hand and complete control of the Kings' franchise, Divac is taking a different approach this time around.
Luke Walton agreed to a four-year contract to become the new head coach of the Sacramento Kings. Sam Amick of The Athletic was the first to report the deal, and NBC Sports California's James Ham confirmed the details with a league source.
League source confirms that the Sacramento Kings have finalized a deal to hire Luke Walton as their new head coach. 4 year deal.— James Ham (@James_HamNBCS) April 13, 2019
Walton parted ways with the Lakers on Thursday after three years on the job. The former player-turned-coach posted a 98-148 (.398) record during his time in Los Angeles, but dealt with a myriad of issues behind the scenes.
Before joining LA, the 39-year-old son of NBA legend Bill Walton worked under Steve Kerr as an assistant with the Golden State Warriors. He spent two seasons in Oakland, including a 43-game stint as an interim head coach while Kerr was dealing with back issues.
Walton posted an incredible 39-4 record as a fill-in for Kerr, and even took home Coach of the Month honors during his time.
Following Walton's departure from the Lakers, Kerr discussed his former understudy with media members this week.
"As this job, as a coach in the NBA, you are 100 percent dependent on your circumstances -- the strength of the organization, the momentum, the unity -- everything has to be in good order," Kerr said. "Because if it's not, as we've witnessed with the Lakers, then there's going to be casualties and usually the coach is the first one."
"They are losing one of the best human beings in the NBA, they're losing a guy who knows the game as well as anybody I've ever met, they're losing somebody players believe in and players want to play for," Kerr added.
Details of the deal are unknown at this time, but a press conference announcing the hire is likely to come early next week.
Sacramento has a strong young core. They posted a 39-43 record under head coach Dave Joerger this season, but chose to go in a different direction after missing the postseason for a 13th consecutive season.
During his press conference announcing the firing of Joerger, Divac was clear that he wanted a coach that would continue to run the uptempo style Sacramento became known for this season.
"Our new coach, which I'm looking for, has to bring, first of all, that style we had last year -- that's Kings style," Divac said. "We have to play that way. Uptempo and moving the ball and communication and defined roles and obviously, believing in the team."
The Lakers finished in fourth place in the league in pace, just ahead of the Kings. They were second in pace last season before LeBron James joined the franchise via free agency.
Walton is the 18th coach for the team since the franchise relocated to Sacramento prior to the 1985-86 season. He is the 10th coach since Rick Adelman left the post after eight years at the helm following the 2005-06 season.