Nothing puts a coach's job in question quite like losing will. But when you combine that with rumors that he's "losing the team," well, then that's almost like getting the black spot.
That could be the situation for Kings coach Paul Westphal. Not only are the Kings playing miserable basketball at 5-21, but with the recent DeMarcus Cousins incident combined with the fact he may not be getting through to his players anymore, Westphal's days might be numbered. HoopsWorld reports that the Maloofs aren't pleased with the direction of the team on the floor and because of that, Westphal might be chopped soon.
The problem for the Kings in firing Westphal is that he's still owed over $2 million for this season and next. Sam Amick of Fanhouse confirmed via Twitter that HoopsWorld's report has a lot of truth to it, but mentioned the money issue as well.
Sources close to the situation say that Westphal has “all but lost his team” as well as the confidence of the (co-owning brothers the) Maloofs. Players, who expected improvement this season, believe that Westphal’s rotations and actions have made it nearly impossible for the young team to find success.
Behind closed doors, the players have questioned his philosophy and decision making throughout the season and only see things getting worse the longer he is on the bench.
How far Westphal has fallen. Last season when the Kings started off well and hovered near .500 for the first half of the season, some were calling him Coach of the Year material. Now the team has fallen apart, largely because of Tyreke Evans battling some injuries and also because of a dysfunctional roster, so Westphal might get the axe.
But as soon as a coach starts losing the ability to get through to players - especially young ones - management has no choice but to start anew. That might not be happening in Sacramento in the immediate future, but if the Kings don't start playing better, something will happen.