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Report: New Kings ownership to let GM Geoff Petrie go

By Royce Young | NBA writer

With their ownership situation finally settled and the Kings sold into the hands of a new ownership group, the organization can finally start moving on to things like improving the franchise.

Step one: Evaluate the front office and start over with a fresh vision. Some observers have felt that under the new ownership of Vivek Ranadive the Kings would clear house and look for a new front office leader. And according to USA Today, that process is beginning.

According to two people with knowledge of the situation, Ranadive has begun the process of finding a replacement for Kings President Geoff Petrie and is considering San Antonio Spurs President R.C. Buford, Golden State Warriors assistant general manager Travis Schlenk, and Memphis Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace. Former Indiana Pacers general manager David Morway may also receive consideration, and Ranadive's internal list is not thought to be limited to this group.

Petrie's contract expires at the end of June, so he wouldn't be fired as much as just not retained. Again, not a surprise given the deterioration of the franchise the past few years.

Petrie has been with the organization since 1994 and oversaw an extremely successful period in which the Kings made eight consecutive playoff appearances and a Western Conference finals appearance in 2002. However, the Kings have missed the postseason for seven seasons running and with a dysfunctional roster in place, there doesn't appear to be a light at the end of the tunnel right now.

The new Kings group obviously has their bar set high with names like R.C. Buford on it, but look for Schlenk to emerge as a likely frontrunner. He's an assistant GM with the Warriors and Ranadive was a minority owner with that franchise before buying in with the Kings. There's a connection there and according to the report, Ranadive is consulting with Jerry West -- currently with the Warriors -- about the search. West also has ties to Wallace from his time in Memphis.

The sale of the Kings is expected to go final sometime in the next week, with Ranadive assuming full control of the organization then.

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