Luke Walton is not going to be out of a job long.
This has been brewing longer than people realize. Rumors of Sacramento’s interest in Walton were floating around NBA circles before Kings GM Vlade Divac fired their coach Dave Joerger, but they came to the forefront as soon as Divac pulled the trigger.
Now with Walton out in Los Angeles and his path cleared, Divac will reach out to Walton, as multiple people have reported.
That would be a good hire. Walton worked well with the young Lakers a season ago, and he wants to play an uptempo, ball-sharing style that would fit well with De'Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley, and the rest of the young Kings roster. The question Walton needs to ask himself is if he trusts that organization.
The rumors are also already flying about the Lakers’ coaching search.
Reports from well before today had the Lakers linked to Tyronn Lue — LeBron James‘ former coach in Cleveland — as a target. Juwan Howard’s name also came up. Then after Walton stepped down Monty Williams’ name came up for the job, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The connecting factor between the two men is each have a history with LeBron James. Williams as an assistant coach with USA Basketball, Lue in Cleveland. Williams was the head coach in New Orleans with the then-Hornets and now Pelicans previously.
However, the rumors of the Lakers starting a coaching search leads to a bigger question: Do the Lakers want to hire a coach before hiring a new head of basketball operations?
Traditionally the guy that heads up the basketball side has the final say on the coaching call. Is that going to be current GM Rob Pelinka? He seems to be moving to consolidate power. That may not be a move that has free agents thinking “I want to come to those Lakers.”
As there always seems to be lately, there is more drama to come in Los Angeles.