Sacramento Kings could lose two key pieces over the summer

Sacramento Kings v Philadelphia 76ers
Sacramento Kings v Philadelphia 76ers / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

This summer will be a tumultuous one for the Kings. If anything, this season has shown that the team is still a few pieces away from true contention in the West. So, the front office has some moves to make over the summer. 

That is not everything, however. Malik Monk is entering unrestricted free agency once the season ends. Monk was a crucial part of the Kings’ surprising success last season and has been one of the team’s three best players this season. Losing him to a knee injury for four to six weeks was a huge blow and caused immediate concern about Sacramento’s playoff chances, showing how important he is to this team. 

Monk loves Sacramento—he has said so several times before—but no one could blame him for chasing more money than the Kings can offer him in free agency. There are teams out there that could offer him significantly more than the Kings if they really wanted to. Orlando, for example, has money, could use a ball handler of his caliber, and promises long-term playoff success.

In a recent interview with The Athletic, Monk mentioned that what the Kings do in the postseason would factor into his decision. Without him and Kevin Huerter, they, unfortunately, might not do much unless De’Aaron Fox taps into his superstar potential or Keegan Murray takes an insane jump in the next few weeks. 

So, unless Monk feels like he has unfinished business in Sacramento and wants to return, the Kings might very well lose him over the summer. He is not the only key piece at flight risk, however.

Associate head coach Jordi Fernandez could take a new job over the summer

Kings’ associate head coach Jordi Fernandez came to Sacramento as a part of Mike Brown’s coaching staff to start the 2022-23 season. The two of them had known each other before, coaching together on the Nigerian men’s national team since 2020. 

Over that time, Fernandez has established himself as one of the best assistant coaches in the game and was already considered for head coaching jobs in Phoenix and Toronto. 

Especially after leading Team Canada through a successful FIBA World Cup campaign, including a big win over Team USA, the Spaniard has emerged as a real coaching talent and might not be in Sacramento much longer. 

Another chance at a head coaching job has just presented itself. Charlotte Hornets head coach Steve Clifford will step down after the season and take on a front-office role instead. So, Charlotte is now looking for a replacement and is considering Jordi Fernandez as well as assistant coaches Charles Lee, Chris Quinn, and Kevin Young among others, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. 

The Hornets are not a good team right now, collecting 58 losses for the season already. Nevertheless, this would be a great opportunity for Fernandez to take the next step in his coaching career. He has been great for the Kings, pushing the team defensively and coming up with the Defensive Player of the Game award given out after every win. 

Just like Monk, no one could blame Fernandez for chasing a bigger role and more money, even if it means that the Kings might lose two key pieces in the same offseason.