December 12, 2011; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors assistant coach Michael Malone (center) instructs during the first quarter of the open practice at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento Kings Pursuing Warriors Assistant Mike Malone for Head Coaching Position

New Sacramento Kings owner to be Vivek Ranadive, a former Golden State Warriors minority owner, is looking to poach his former assistant coach to lead his new squad.

According to Ric Bucher, Ranadive has put Warriors assistant Mike Malone “on his list of candidates” for the Kings head coaching position.

Another former Warriors coach, Keith Smart, is currently at the helm in Sacramento, but it is expected that the new ownership will relieve him of his duties.

Malone came to the Warriors along with Mark Jackson in 2011, and has been pivotal in molding the franchise into the playoff team that they are now. He is the highest-paid assistant coach in the NBA, and is the one who draws up the plays during timeouts in late-game situations.

Prior to joining the Warriors, Malone had 10 years of experience in the NBA as an assistant.

He is one of the hottest commodities on the coaching market, with several teams reportedly interested in his services, including the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers.

Malone was in rumors last offseason as a candidate for the Orlando Magic and Portland Trail Blazers head coaching positions, so he is no stranger to this circumstance.

Whatever decision he makes, it will surely be a tough one for Malone.

Does he decide to stay with the up-and-coming Warriors as a top assistant, or become the head coach of a rebuilding franchise?

Tags: Golden State Warriors Mike Malone Sacramento Kings Vivek Ranadive

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