Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Kings head coach Mike Brown agrees to three-year, $30 million extension despite rumors of rift with ownership

Sacramento Kings head coach Mike Brown has agreed to a three-year, $30 million extension that will keep him with the team through the 2026-27 season, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. This comes just days after reports of a rift between the two parties over the terms of a potential deal. 

Earlier this month, Kings beat writer James Ham reported that Brown’s “failure to repeat the success of the previous year hasn’t sat well with ownership.” Wojnarowski, meanwhile, noted that there was a “gulf” between the two sides in terms of compensation for the 2023 NBA Coach of the Year. Most recently, Shams Charania added that Brown wanted $10 million per year, while the Kings were offering $7 million, with potential bonsues that could push it up to $9 million. 

In the end, Brown got his money and the Kings got to keep one of the league’s top coaches. 

Brown was hired in May 2022 and immediately set to work on making the Kings relevant again. In his first season, he led the team to a 48-34 record, the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference and their first playoff appearance since 2006, which ended the longest playoff drought in NBA history and the longest active playoff drought in major North American professional sports. Once there, the Kings lost a heartbreaking first-round series to the Golden State Warriors in seven games. 

Though the key figures remained the same this season, the Kings were unable to get back to the playoffs. They still went 46-36, but that was only good enough for ninth place and a trip to the Play-In Tournament this time around. After beating the Warriors in the first round of that event, they fell to the New Orleans Pelicans in the game that decided the No. 8 seed. That defeat came without key guards Malik Monk and Kevin Huerter, both of whom were injured late in the regular season. Had they been healthy, perhaps the Kings would have gotten back to the postseason and Brown’s extension would have been a simple process. 

With Brown locked up for the foreseeable future, the Kings will now turn their attention to the next big item on their offseason agenda: Monk’s free agency. Monk excelled in Sacramento over the last two seasons, and finished as the runner-up for Sixth Man of the Year. He’s going to get a big raise this summer, but the Kings can only offer him a four-year, $77.9 million contract due to collective bargaining rules, while another team with more cap space could give him over $100 million over four years. 

He has expressed a desire to stay with the Kings, but the money could come calling. If he departs, that would be a major loss for Brown and Co., as Monk’s bench scoring has been a major factor in their return to relevance and would be very difficult to replace.  

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