The Sacramento Kings’ hot start to their 2018-19 campaign was reason for a small amount of concern for the Boston Celtics, who are owed Sacramento’s pick as long as it doesn’t land No. 1 overall (at which point it would go to the Philadelphia 76ers).
But according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, the Kings — who have fallen off a bit recently to 5-5 — are considering firing coach Dave Joerger, who helped them achieve that status.
Sources said the franchise is growing frustrated with how Joerger is distributing minutes and assigning roles to the team’s young prospects.
The front office views this season as a development year, sources said, but it was still confident that the team would be competitive and grow with Bagley, promising guard De’Aaron Fox, and forwards Harry Giles and Skal Labissiere getting meaningful minutes.
According to Haynes, Joerger’s job could be in danger.
The Kings won’t be the worst team in the Western Conference, but they are a likely lottery team no matter what they prioritize. The West appears too loaded for them to find their way into the postseason.
Marvin Bagley is a talented player, and Sacramento has plenty of young talent to grit themselves into wins even if they stop playing the veterans so much. But rookies rarely win in the NBA, and the Celtics likely wouldn’t be upset to see more of a youth movement.
Zion Williamson might be out of reach for the Celtics, given his start to Duke’s season — at this point, he looks like the clear-cut No. 1 pick. But if the Kings get themselves into the higher parts of the lottery, it could pay dividends for the Celtics in a top-heavy draft. If Sacramento ditched Joerger and turned the next few months into a development season, it would be doing Danny Ainge a favor.