Mike Malone has agreed to a three-year deal with a team option for a fourth year to coach the Sacramento Kings, replacing Keith Smart.
The contract would be worth more than $9 million over four years.
Malone, 42, is recently the Golden State Warriors lead assistant coach and is well-regarded in the league for his defensive expertise.
He was going to be considered for at least one high-profile opening with the Los Angeles Clippers, prompting the Kings to quickly close a deal.
Malone's coaching career began in 1994 at Oakland University in Michigan, followed by stops at Providence College (1995-98), Virginia (1998-99) and Manhattan College (1999-2001), all as an assistant, before he joined the New York Knicks as a coaching associate.
After four seasons, Malone joined the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he worked with LeBron James. In the 2010-11 season, he helped the New Orleans Hornets allow 8.7 fewer points (94 per game) while working with Chris Paul.
Malone will be tasked with reeling in players who favor one-on-one basketball and often played lackadaisical defense, allowing a league-worst 105.1 points per game in 2012-13.
He must also figure out how to maximize the talent of center DeMarcus Cousins and limit the incidents that led to friction with past coaches and to suspensions.
Malone is the first major hire under the new ownership group led by Vivek Ranadive, who purchased the team from the Maloof family.
The Kings are also searching for a new general manager and will soon replace basketball president Geoff Petrie.
Golden State assistant general manager Travis Schlenk, Memphis general manager Chris Wallace, former Indiana general manager David Morway, former Warriors general manager Chris Mullin and Indiana's current general manager, Kevin Pritchard are possible replacements for Petrie.
Whoever is hired must decide whether to extend a qualifying offer to guard Tyreke Evans to make him a restricted free agent.
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