After exploratory talks, Kevin McHale a candidate for Kings job

Kevin McHale has emerged on the list of known candidates for the Sacramento Kings' vacant coaching job after engaging in exploratory talks about the position, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that Kings general manager Vlade Divac, while still in the early ‎stages of what is expected to be a broad search, has sounded out McHale about his potential interest after the former Houston Rockets coach was fired just 11 games into the current season.

Former Minnesota Timberwolves ‎interim coach Sam Mitchell has, to date, completed the only full-scale interview conducted by the Kings thus far, with sources saying former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro is scheduled to meet with Divac and other Kings officials this week.

Former Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson and former Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson, currently an analyst with ESPN, are also known to be on the Kings' list for potential interviews down the road.

Others who could receive consideration for the Kings' post but have not yet been lined up for interviews include Indiana Pacers assistant coach Nate McMillan (who is still involved in the playoffs) and former Phoenix Suns coach Jeff Hornacek.

Sources say ‎that the Kings have strong interest in speaking to Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton, after Walton posted a 39-4 record as Golden State's interim coach while Steve Kerr was sidelined this season. The Warriors have said they plan to allow Walton to interview for jobs between playoff rounds if the schedule allows, but the Los Angeles Lakers and Knicks are also known to be interested in the 36-year-old.

The Kings fired George Karl on April 14 after a tumultuous 14 months for Karl in Sacramento‎.

McHale had only just begun the first year of a three-year contract extension in Houston at the time of his dismissal, having led the Rockets to a 56-win campaign and a trip to the Western Conference finals in 2014-15.