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Kings make a Smart move

The Sports Xchange

The Kings and Keith Smart agreed to a contract extension through the 2013-14 season, a relief to the first-year coach who stepped in after Paul Westphal was fired early last season.

Kings president Geoff Petrie said there was no reason to wait until during the season to extend the deal.

"We had talked about it at length somewhat after the season, after the draft," Petrie said. "We just really moved forward on it in the last couple of weeks. It's something I'm really in favor of. He's the right coach at the right time for the group of players."

Smart took over a team amid chaos after star center DeMarcus Cousins feuded with Westphal. Smart quickly won over Cousins, and he impressed the rest of the team by going with Isaiah Thomas at point guard and moving Tyreke Evans to the wing. The Kings went 20-39 under Smart and missed the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season.

Still, there appears to be progress.

"I'm excited to continue this process with the Kings," Smart said in a statement. "We're trying to get our franchise moving in the right direction. The goal is to keep moving in that positive direction, and I'm glad that I get that opportunity."

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