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Kings extend coach Keith Smart’s contract to 2014

Aug 7, 2012, 2:01 AM EDT

Keith Smart AP

Keith Smart did a nice job with the Kings last year — taking over a team Paul Westphal had lost and connecting with key players. And by Kings players we mean DeMarcus Cousins. It all starts there.

Kings management was impressed enough — and is desperate for some semblance of consistency — that they have extended Smart’s contract through 2014, reports

“I’m excited to continue this process with the Kings,” Smart said via press release. “We’re trying to get our franchise moving in the right direction. The goal is to keep moving in that positive direction, and I’m glad that I get that opportunity. It’s been great working with Geoff (Petrie, GM) and his staff and communicating with the Maloofs in this process.”

Smart was 20-39 last season. The Kings add Thomas Robinson and Aaron Brooks, and they will try to better fit in Tyreke Evans (unless they trade him). All of which is to say there is some nice young players there but don’t expect a whole lot of wins in Sacramento next season.

The real question here is: Why did the Kings extend him now? Smart was on the books for the coming season already, why not see how he works in a full season then extend him? Why put yourself on the hook for another year? Stability? It’s nice, but it’s not as important as being able to really teach and reach these guys. Why not make Smart prove he can?

  1. gmsalpha - Aug 7, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    Don’t expect a whole lot of wins next season in Sacramento. But it’s better than not expecting a whole lot of wins in Anaheim.

    This is a smart move (no pun intended) because if your star is unhappy, it’s going to be really hard on everyone. If Keith is a competent coach AND gets along with Cousins, I say ride it out a couple more years.

  2. phaden27 - Aug 7, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    “Just gotta put your foot up on the bar son!” -Coach Smart with the Warriors.
    “Uh… okay Coach.” -David Lee.

  3. itsonlyaspeedbump - Aug 7, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    The Kings have a shot at going the OKC route (drafting very high for a few years in a row and getting star players, propelling them to consistent playoff appearances.) Unfortunately, their ownership situation is so dysfunctional I’m afraid they’ll go more the route of the Bucks, who also get to draft high every year and never seem to rise above mediocre.

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