Insider reveals Sacramento Kings' ownership's issues with head coach Mike Brown

Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers
Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

The Sacramento Kings, for some reason, don't want to play the long game. Mike Brown guided the team to its first playoff appearance since 2006. Yet, apparently, despite what Brown has done, it's apparently not enough for the Kings.

According to Kings insider James Ham, Sacramento's inability to return to the postseason has contributed to why their ownership is not too pleased with Brown as the head coach.

"The failure to repeat the success of the previous year hasn’t sat well with ownership, according to sources," Ham reported. "This shouldn’t be a complicated matter, but like everything else in Sacramento, it is."

The Kings finished with a record of 46-36 and came within one play-in game of making the playoffs. That's two wins why of their record last season. At first glance, that seems like a decline, but anyone who paid attention knows that season-ending injuries to Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk factored into the Kings dropping in what was a highly competitive Western Conference playoff race.

Lakers head coach search will affect Mike Brown's next contract with the Sacramento Kings: Report

Part of the reason why the Kings may feel this way may not have much do with how Brown has fared with the team two years in, but because the market has changed. Ham acknowledged that the price tag for a well-repped head coach has changed a lot.

"The going rate for star-level coaches is off the charts, especially those with championship rings. The next tier, which includes Brown, is now starting to take shape. Mike Budenholzer landed in Phoenix on a five-year, $50 million contract last week and he is about as good a comp as you will find with Brown," Ham wrote.

Other factors will be at play. Yahoo Sports' Jake Fischer reported that the Lakers' next coaching search will affect Brown's price tag for his next deal.

"The outcome of the Lakers’ process, and the rest of this unfolding coaching cycle — which has already included paydays for Jason Kidd and new Suns head coach Mike Budenholzer — will also provide added context for Mike Brown’s contract extension conversations in Sacramento," Fischer wrote on May 16.

Sacramento has a history of giving coaches a short leash, even when they're getting results for the team. The Kings fired Mike Malone not too long after they had a promising to the 2014-15 season. After Dave Joerger got them within inches of making the playoffs in 2019, ownership fired him too over disagreeing about where the team should go.

Hence, all in all, this news is disappointing but far from surprising. The Kings may not want to pay up for Brown, but considering the alternative and their progress, they don't really have better option.