Luke Walton reaches agreement to coach Sacramento Kings

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, the least surprising of those happened, as the Lakers and coach Luke Walton agreed to "mutually part ways".

Walton has been hired to coach the Sacramento Kings, who recently fired head coach Dave Joerger after three seasons.

The Sacramento Kings recently extended the contract of vice president of basketball operations and general manager Vlade Divac, and he wasted no time sweeping clean the front office after the Kings' season ended.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr meanwhile said the Lakers were losing one of the "best human beings in the NBA" with Walton's departure.

LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers past year to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Still, Walton was a top-choice for the Kings' head coaching gig when it opened last in 2016, but he was dead-set on joining the Lakers, and spurned the Kings - and all other organizations- to do so.

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"They are losing somebody who the players believe in and the players want to play for".

The Lakers improved their record in each of Walton's three seasons, but never finished higher than third place in the Pacific Division. "He was dependent on circumstances just like all of us".

Walton leaves the Lakers with two years remaining on his five-year deal. The Hall of Fame point guard was upset with the team's defense and sluggish start but later told the Los Angeles Times and ESPN that Walton would not be fired barring something unforeseen.

Of concern, however, is Walton's ability to develop players.

While Walton and Johnson - who surprisingly quit in impromptu fashion Tuesday night - are out, GM Rob Pelinka is expected to stay on board. He is rumored to be a candidate for the vacant Kings opening.

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