With the first round of the 2019 NBA playoffs coming to a close, the Los Angeles Lakers are patiently conducting their coaching search.
As owner Jeanie Buss reportedly has ‘no plans’ to hire a new president of basketball operations, general manager Rob Pelinka has already met with former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue and Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams.
With Pelinka set to meet with Miami Heat assistant coach Juwan Howard, it appears the Lakers have some competition for one of their potential candidates.
After the Phoenix Suns fired head coach Igor Kokoskov following just one season, they are interested in Williams now, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
The timing on the dismissal of Kokoskov, the first European-born NBA head coach, was partly rooted in a desire to compete against the Los Angeles Lakers in pursuit of Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams, league sources told ESPN.
If the Lakers view Williams as their frontrunner, they may have to act quickly based on this latest development. After meeting with Howard, Williams and Lue reportedly will be brought back for second interviews which will include Buss.
Since all three candidates have relationships with LeBron James, it is a matter of picking the most qualified individual for the position. However, the Lakers reportedly may interview more candidates to replace former and current Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton.