Kings

Source: Luke Walton's Kings job safe after Vlade Divac steps down

Kings

Vlade Divac sent seismic shockwaves through Sacramento on Friday when he stepped down as general manager of the Kings. But the coach he hired last year isn't going anywhere for now.

Luke Walton's job as Kings coach is safe for the 2020-21 NBA season, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports California's James Ham.

Divac leaving his position comes a day after the Kings returned home from a disappointing eight-game stretch during the restarted NBA season in Orland, Fla.

The Kings were playing well when the season was stopped due to the coronavirus in March and entered the Walt Disney World complex with dreams of ending their 13-year NBA playoff drought. But they lost their first three games in the bubble and never were able to recover, finishing with a 31-41 record.

Walton's first season didn't go as Divac and the Kings had hoped. With Sacramento coming off a 39-win season last year, Walton was supposed to be the missing ingredient that would allow the Kings to take the next jump. An 0-5 start to the season put the Kings in a hole they were never able to dig out of.

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Now, Walton will get at least one season to prove himself to the Kings' next general manager.

Walton signed a four-year contract with the Kings last April, shortly after he parted ways with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Hall of Famer Joe Dumars, who served as an advisor for Kings owner Vivek Ranadive for the last year, has taken over as interim executive vice president of basketball operations and will lead the search for the team's next GM.