Without a president of basketball operations, Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka is reportedly leading the team’s coaching search.
While the Lakers should ideally hire Magic Johnson’s replacement first, it appears Pelinka has received more power during this process.
As the Lakers are reportedly set to interview former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue and Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams, another potential candidate has emerged.
The Miami Heat have granted the Lakers permission to interview assistant coach Juwan Howard, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
The Lakers have received permission to speak to Juwan Howard, plan interview him next week
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) April 14, 2019
In Howard’s last three seasons in the NBA, he played with LeBron James and the Heat where he won back-to-back championships. Following his career, Howard joined head coach Erik Spoelstra’s coaching staff in 2013 and has been an assistant coach since.
While Howard has no head coaching experience, his relationship with James is a significant factor. In order for the Lakers to succeed, the reality is James does need to buy into the team’s next head coach.
With a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Lakers, it will be interesting to see how owner Jeanie Buss handles the situation. As they have been known to hire family and friends, there is an opportunity to look for an outsider who can lead them back to the playoffs.