The new ownership won't take control of the Kings for at least another week, but the process of sorting out the future has already begun. New majority owner Vivek Ranadive met briefly with Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie on Thursday before attending the "Long Live the Kings" rally at Cesar Chavez Plaza in downtown Sacramento. Petrie's contract expires at the end of June. Petrie had planned to attend this week's predraft group workout in New Jersey. Instead, he's in California as the transition from the Maloof family to Ranadive's group takes place. Ranadive said there will be an urgency in sorting out the basketball operations. "When the deal closes at the end of next week, we want to start getting into that very quickly," Ranadive said during a brief session with media. Besides Petrie, a decision has to be made on coach Keith Smart. While the rest of the coaching staff is not under contract for next season, Smart's contract runs through the 2013-14 season. Ranadive wants to meet with Smart, too. The Kings will pick seventh in the first round of the draft June 27, so clarity within basketball operations is important. "I want to sit down with everyone as quickly as possible," Ranadive said. Kings guard Isaiah Thomas said he's in touch with Smart via text message at least once a week, discussing basketball. Thomas had positive things to say when asked what he would relay to Ranadive about Smart. "He's a great guy, a motivator, a guy that's going to do whatever it takes to win," Thomas said. "Just like us players, we've got to improve each and every year, and he knows he's got to improve. … I'm going to tell them he's a great coach, a great guy that really motivates you to become the best person you can be."
New owners must quickly make decisions on staff and team
Sacramento Bee | May 24