Sacramento Kings

Luke Walton, Lakers have parted ways. Could he be on his way to Sacramento?

One of the Kings’ reported candidates to be the team’s next head coach is now available.

Luke Walton and the Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to part ways, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Walton was reported to be the frontrunner for the Kings’ coaching vacancy after general manager Vlade Divac fired Dave Joerger on Thursday. In three seasons as the Lakers’ coach, he went 98-148, including a 37-45 record this season.

The Bee’s Jason Anderson confirms that Divac has reached out to Walton “in the first hour” after leaving the Lakers. The Athletic’s Sam Amick says Walton is the Kings’ first choice for the job. Should he be hired, he’d take over a roster that boasts a core of young talent, including guards De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield, and big men Marvin Bagley III and Harry Giles III.

The Kings had their most successful season since their last playoff team, winning 39 games for the first time since 2005-06. However, Sacramento went 9-16 after the All-Star break and finished nine games out of playoff contention.

“After evaluating the season, I determined that we need to move in a different direction in order to take us to the next level,” Divac said Thursday at a press conference. “On behalf of the entire Kings organization, I want to thank Dave for his contributions to our team and I wish him all the best.”

In three seasons as the Kings’ coach, Joerger was 98-148, the same record Walton had with the Lakers.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee

Noel Harris is the assistant local editor for The Sacramento Bee. A former Kings beat reporter who still occasionally writes, he’s been in professional journalism for more than 19 years. His roles have included sports editor at The Modesto Bee and news editor at two smaller California newspapers, as well as online producer, page designer and copy editor.