UPDATE: The Sacramento Kings provided Dime with a statement from general manager Vlade Divac on the report about David Joerger’s future with the team being in jeopardy.
“Dave has our full support and confidence,” general manager Vlade Divac said in a statement. “We continue to work together to develop our young core and compete.”
Earlier: One of the biggest surprises at the start of the 2018-19 NBA season has been the Sacramento Kings. While it was expected to be another rebuilding year in Sacramento, the Kings have started the year 8-7 behind the emerging backcourt duo of De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield. It’s possible the team tapers off as the year marches on, but the early returns on Sacramento are encouraging.
But because these are the Sacramento Kings, something incredibly dumb has to happen amid this success. That thing is a report via Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, which brings word that head coach David Joerger could be in some hot water that might cost him his job.
The issue reportedly stems from how Joerger is handing prized young forward Marvin Bagley, who was taken with the second overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. According to Haynes, the Kings brass still wants to use this year to build with an eye on the future, while Joerger wants to win now.
Joerger’s handling of 2018 No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley III could eventually lead to the coach’s dismissal, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
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.
Bagley is sixth on the team in minutes per game at 22.3 a night, which is a decent mark, even if it trails veteran forward Nemanja Bjelica’s 26.2 minutes per game. Haynes went onto report that “there is a call from within the franchise for Bagley to receive more minutes,” but there is no word on whether that call is coming from owner Vivek Ranadive, general manager Vlade Divac, or someone else.
Joerger is a tremendous Xs and Os coach, and firing him to give more minutes to Bagley would be a breathtaking myopic move by the Kings. Despite their surprising start to the year, Sacramento is now a team to watch in the coming weeks for a less-than-ideal reason.