By Kurt Helin, NBC Sports
Posted March 29th 2019
The Lakers are trying to play out the string and ignore the ramped up talk around the league about how Luke Walton is a dead coach walking and the franchise is already thinking about who is next.
But that talk is deafening.
Now add to that this note from Marc Stein of the New York Times in his weekly newsletter.
Who, then, will the Lakers hire? The name most frequently cited in league coaching circles is the very available Tyronn Lue.
Lue, of course, is a former Laker who is better known for having coached LeBron James for 2 1/2 seasons in Cleveland. The presumed acceptance he would have from James, who is about to begin his first postseason as a spectator since 2005, would appear to give Lue with a significant advantage over the rest of the field.
Other big names have been mentioned, but they are not going to pan out. Doc Rivers has an extension lined up (an agreed to deal) to stay with the Clippers. Stein mentions Dallas’ Rick Carlisle as a target, but at the start of this season he too had his contract extended to stay in Dallas. Jason Kidd’s name came up, but that may be more about an agent looking for leverage in negotiations with the University of California than it is something the Lakers are serious about.
While there will be a lot of eye rolling from fans if the Lakers hire Lue, it’s not a bad move — by the end of his tenure in Cleveland he was running some pretty creative stuff on offense (the Lakers would be wise to make Lue hire a “defensive coordinator” assistant). The man has coached in the Finals and has a ring. Yes, LeBron was a big part of that, but not all of it.
Most of all, Lue would have buy-in from LeBron James. That matters.
T Lue thanks for the memories and more importantly our partnership bringing a ]]>????????????