Divac admitted in a press conference that he had been considering a coaching change for a while, and a 9-16 record post All-Star break sealed the end of Joerger's run. He did admit that this season was a good year, as the Kings averaged 114.2 points per game, which was good for ninth in the NBA. That was an increase of 15.4 points per game from last season, as the Kings finished last in the league a season ago at 98.8 points per game. Joerger ended with a record of 98-148 without a playoff appearance in four seasons with the Kings, but had a sub-par relationship with the organization over the playing time of certain young players, which also played a role in his departure.
The Cleveland Cavaliers also moved on, more on a mutual decision, as they will not be bringing back head coach Larry Drew for a second season. This comes after the Cavaliers won just 19 games in their first season since losing LeBron James in free agency to the Los Angeles Lakers. This missed playoff appearance ends a four-year run in the NBA Finals, all with LeBron, which only resulted in one NBA Title, and three straight losses to the Golden State Warriors.
The 61-year-old Drew made the decision with general manager Koby Altman on Thursday, as Altman claimed that the coach "respectfully declined to participate in the search process and will not be returning to coach the Cavaliers." Cleveland tied with the Phoenix Suns for the second-worst record in the NBA, only ahead of the New York Knicks. They only had Kevin Love for 22 games, but most of the team praised Drew, including rookie Colin Sexton, who showed out in his first season out of Alabama. The Cavaliers will now be on the search for their fifth coach since 2013, despite playoff and Finals runs in the middle of all of it.
The Memphis Grizzlies were the surprise of the NBA in the opening month of the season, that before they fell back down to Earth and the bottom of the Western Conference. That led to them firing head coach J.B. Bickerstaff on Thursday, while also reassigning general manager Chris Wallace. Along with vice president of basketball operations John Hollinger. Wallace was demoted to scouting and senior advisory roles. Jason Wexler has been promoted to president of basketball operations to finish off the changes for now, as they look to bring in more experienced executives in the front office.
Bickerstaff took over as an interim head coach in the 2017-2018 season and lasted just one full season with Memphis. The team was happy with how he handled a season full of injuries, trades, and roster changes, but it was not enough to keep him around. The 40-year-old went 48-97 over two seasons with Memphis, and never made the playoffs, as the Grizzlies have missed the postseason in each of the past seven seasons. Bickerstaff's only other coaching experience came as an interim coach with the Houston Rockets in the 2015-2016 season, where he went 37-34. The Grizzlies finished 33-49 this past season, but the team is beginning to bring in the young talent that can push up the team back in to the playoff picture.