#3. What If Dave Joerger Was Still The Coach?
There are so many variables to this “what if” that it is truly difficult to give a straight answer.
Would the Kings have had the same kind of slow start to the season? Doubtful. One of the reasons for the poor stretch to start the year was the team’s unfamiliarity with new head coach Luke Walton and his system, which derailed the identity that they had established last season under Joerger. A few wins would have probably been saved in that aspect.
But would Joerger have been able to right the ship through all the injuries and issues that came Sacramento’s way this season? He was not exactly known as the most level-headed coach in the league, and had issues with players and front office members alike. In a revelation that has recently been made public, it seems as though one of the reasons for his firing was Joerger’s insistence that Kings brass made the wrong choice in passing on Luka Doncic. It is possible that Walton was more suited for the job this season as it pertains to dealing with in-house issues and misleading injury reports.
Would the Kings have had a better record at this point of the season had they kept Joerger on staff? Probably. But by how many games? The Kings were 28-36 when the NBA went on hiatus on March 11th and clawing back in to playoff position. There was a real possibility for the Kings to finish with something like 36-38 wins, which would have been just a slight regression from the wins that Joerger was able to get last season.
Sacramento should have improved, sure. But in the end, the finished product was not nearly as poor as we had made it out to be all season.