Luke Walton finds the perfect home with the Kings


A day after the Lakers "mutually parted ways" with head coach Luke Walton, the former two time NBA champion has found a new home with the Sacramento Kings. According to Sam Amick of the Athletic, Luke Walton has agreed to a multi-year deal to become the Sacramento Kings head coach.

Luke Walton totaled a 98-148 record while coaching the Lakers (via AP News)

While the details of the four-year contract are unknown, Walton will get the chance to redeem himself from the disaster that was the 2018-'19 Los Angeles Lakers. Walton's tenure with the Lakers took a turn for the worse following the subpar beginning to the LeBron James era, which saw the team finish the season 37-45 and 11 games from the eighth seed.


Prior to LeBron James' arrival in Los Angeles, Walton and the Lakers were showing improvement. Los Angeles saw an 11 game improvement from year one to two during Walton's tenure. The team consisted of rookies Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, and former first-round draft picks Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle.

Brook Lopez, Julius Randle, Luke Walton, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball (NBA.com)

A young coach paired with a young team, Walton and the Lakers were a perfect match.


Now Walton, with four years of coaching under his belt, will lead the young and promising Sacramento Kings. Not only will Walton join a more well-rounded organization but Walton will lead a Kings team that finished one spot ahead of the Lakers in the Western Conference.


Sacramento, without a true star like LeBron James, averaged the ninth most points (114.2) in the NBA. De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield led the way for the Kings averaging 17.3 and 20.7 points in route to a 12-game improvement from the previous year.

Buddy Hield and De'Aaron Fox (via sacbee)

The rest of the roster, having an average age of 26, gives Walton time to grow with the young core. Something he never got a chance to do in Los Angeles. Walton was unceremoniously dumped by the Lakers two years into Lonzo Ball's and Kyle Kuzma's career.


In Sacramento, Walton's starting five will likely be comprised of Fox, Hield, Harrison Barnes,

Marvin Bagley, and Willie Cauley-Stein. All but Cauley-Stein are under contract for next season with Fox and Bagley locked up till 2020.


Along with a young core under contract, the Kings also have the fifth-ranked best in the NBA in regards to points (42.7) and field goal percentage (46%), according to Hoopstats.com. Valuable bench players such as Bogdan Bogdanovic, Frank Mason, and Harry Giles provided a combined 52 minutes per game last season, much-needed relief for a young team.


The most important thing the Kings offer Luke Walton is stability. Not so much in the front office but on the court. Fox, Hield, and Cauley-Stein missed a total of two games combined. Marvin Bagley and Harry Giles, who both have injury history, are expected to be fully healthy for the beginning of the 2019 season.


Walton joining the Kings means he can finally coach the team he was hired to coach in Los Angeles-young and full of potential. Without the looming shadow of LeBron James, Walton will be able to coach the Kings his way rather than hesitate to make changes to appease a demanding superstar.


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*preview photo credited to Las Vegas Review-Journal

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