A four-game losing streak has led to heightened speculation about Kings coach Luke Walton's future in Sacramento with a new report suggesting his job could be in jeopardy if the team's struggles continue.
The pressure on Walton is mounting as the Kings (5-8) prepare to face the Detroit Pistons (3-9) on Monday night at Little Caesars Arena. Citing sources, The Athletic's Sam Amick and Shams Charania reported Walton's job "will likely be in peril soon if the current slide continues."
The Kings went 5-4 to start the season with wins over the Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns and Charlotte Hornets, but the mood in Sacramento has changed following four consecutive losses to the Indiana Pacers, Suns, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder. The Kings will conclude a four-game road trip against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday before coming home to play the Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers and Blazers during a difficult four-game homestand.
The Kings hired Walton, 41, to replace Dave Joerger in 2019. Walton, who is in the third year of a four-year contract, is 67-90 in his third season in Sacramento. He posted a 98-148 record in three seasons as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers after spending two years as an assistant with the Golden State Warriors.
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Walton survived two nine-game losing streaks last season, but owner Vivek Ranadive and general manager Monte McNair probably won't show the same kind of patience this season. The Kings have talked about avoiding long losing streaks and improving their historically bad defense, but they're already struggling to achieve those goals just 13 games into the season.