Luke Walton is going to have his pick of coaching jobs this summer. The Knicks are reportedly interested, as are the Phoenix Suns. The Lakers allegedly would fire Byron Scott mid-season to get Walton. This doesn’t even get into current or expected openings such as Brooklyn, Sacramento, and Houston. Walton will have options.
But he’s not doing anything until the Warrior’s season ends, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.
This shouldn’t be a surprise, and it is the right thing to do for Walton — shows of loyalty to your current employer and players should raise his stock in the eyes of those trying to hire him.
We may ultimately see with Walton what we saw with Alvin Gentry a year ago; he took the job with New Orleans while the Warriors were still on their championship run, but continued to coach the team through the Finals.
It’s fair to ask if Walton is being over-hyped. He did a fantastic job with the Warriors to start this season, but that was an already built team playing the same system with mostly the same players as the season before. He just had to not fall off the horse, it was going to run plenty fast. Coaching up the kinds of troubled teams we see on that list above is a different challenge entirely. Walton may be up for it, he’s certainly earned the chance, but it’s fair to ask if he’s ready for that step.