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NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - APRIL 12: Head Coach Luke Walton of the Sacramento Kings looks on during the first quarter of an NBA game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center on April 12, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement
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Report: Luke Walton Will Return To Coach Kings In 2021-22

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Walton has two seasons and $11.5 million remaining on his four-year contract

According to James Ham of NBC Sports, the Sacramento Kings will be retaining head coach Luke Walton for the 2021-22 season.

Walton has posted back-to-back seasons with a 31-41 record since he was hired by former general manager Vlade Divac prior to the 2019-20 season. Sacramento has missed the postseason in each of those two seasons and now owns the NBA record for consecutive appearances without a playoff appearance.

Shortly after the news broke, Ham joined The Jason Ross & Doug Christie Show to explain what this means for both Walton and the future of this team over the coming offseason and upcoming 2021-22 season.

“I’ve been trying to read the tea leaves for awhile, and I know that Luke has a great relationship with his players and that him and (general manager) Monte McNair were hand-in-hand all season long,” Ham said on Monday afternoon.

“It’s those types of relationships that get you to the conclusion that we have now learned, that he will be back. I’m a little surprised on one end because this team does like to crowdsource, and for whatever reason Luke is not that popular with the fanbase, but I will tell you that in two seasons as the head coach of the Kings, there is only one coach that has a better winning percentage in the Sacramento era–over 36 years–and that is Doug (Christie)’s head coach Rick Adelman.”

James Ham of NBC Sports on the Kings retaining head coach Luke Walton (5/17/21)

To listen to the entire interview with James Ham, click the “play” button on the audio file located at the top of the post.

For full episodes of The Jason Ross & Doug Christie Show, click here.