Luke Walton on the hot seat?

The pressure is mounting on Sacramento Kings coach Luke Walton — again. With the Kings (5-8) in the midst of a four-game losing streak heading into a Monday night game at Detroit, sources say the third-year coach’s job status will likely be in peril soon if the current slide continues. The Kings, who started the season 5-4 before falling to Indiana, Phoenix, San Antonio and Oklahoma City, are determined to break their 15-year playoff drought, the NBA’s longest, and Walton won’t be given the same leeway to turn things around as he was last season. Especially when it comes to extended losing streaks. – via The Athletic

At the time, sources said Walton’s approval rating in the locker room and the partnership he had created with general manager Monte McNair during McNair’s first season with the team were key factors in his survival. The financial factor, one can safely surmise, played a pivotal part as well. The 41-year-old coach has this season and next guaranteed on his contract, for a combined total of $11.5 million. – via The Athletic

The playoff expectations have officially arrived for all involved. As McNair made clear in a conversation with The Athletic on Nov. 8, in which he was transparent about that reality, the talent on this current roster is seen internally as one that’s worthy of a postseason appearance. Kings executives have consistently shared that sentiment privately with rival executives as well. – via The Athletic

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