Two days after being jettisoned by the Memphis Grizzlies, Dave Joerger has landed in Sacramento.
The Kings agreed to terms with Joerger on a three-year contract worth $4 million per season, a person with knowledge of the agreement told The Associated Press on Monday. The deal includes a team option for the fourth season. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has yet to announce the agreement.
Joerger went 147-99 in three seasons with the Grizzlies and took them to the playoffs each year. He led the injury-ravaged team to 42 wins this season, pushing them to the playoffs where they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round.
Despite the success he achieved with the Grizzlies, he never was able to get on the same page with Memphis owner Robert Pera. Joerger was hired to replace Lionel Hollins after spending six years as an assistant in Memphis, but Pera never seemed to warm to him.
The situation grew so strained that Joerger interviewed for the open Minnesota Timberwolves job two summers ago before ultimately staying in Memphis.
He quickly found a landing place in Sacramento, where the Kings have struggled to find coaching stability under owner Vivek Ranadive. Joerger replaces George Karl and becomes the Kings’ seventh head coach in the last five years.
The Kings went 33-49 last season and Karl clashed with ownership and Kings star DeMarcus Cousins in his lone full season on the job.
When they opened up the search, the Kings pledged to go through a methodical, deliberate process and interview as many candidates as possible before making a decision. But as soon as Joerger was surprisingly made available, the Kings swooped in.
Joerger flew to Sacramento on Sunday for his first round of discussions, then had more meetings on Monday morning before the agreement was reached.
Joerger will make double with the Kings what he was making in Memphis. He will be tasked with ending a playoff drought in Sacramento that extends back to 2006, the second-longest active drought in the league.
His first order of business will be to find common ground with Cousins, one of the most gifted big men in the league who hasn’t seen eye-to-eye with any coach he’s had in Sacramento except for Michael Malone, who was abruptly fired in December 2014.