Both Luke Walton and the Los Angeles Lakers appear to be moving quickly after severing ties following three seasons together. Walton, who was a reported target of the Sacramento Kings prior to his future being decided with the Lakers, is said to be nearing a multi-year contract.
Meanwhile, the Lakers have most prominently been connected to the likes of Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams and former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue. Although there was speculation over recent months, Jason Kidd and Mark Jackson are not perceived candidates.
Although the 76ers are in the midst of a playoff series — one which began with a deflating home loss to the Brooklyn Nets — general manager Elton Brand reportedly granted Williams permission to speak with the Lakers.
L.A. has also touched base with Lue and the two parties are expected to have a meeting, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports:
Yahoo Sources: The Lakers have reached out to Tyronn Lue regarding their head coach position and are expected to meet at some point next week.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) April 13, 2019
The Lakers’ reported interest in Lue dates back several months and prompted him to touch base with Walton to clear the perception he had possibly been contacted by the team during the season.
Lue stepped down as Cavaliers head coach in March of last year to deal with health issues, and was ultimately fired after an 0-6 start to the 2018-19 season. Lue of course has ties to the Lakers via his playing career but more prominently has a strong relationship with LeBron James.
James wished Lue well and offered his support in the wake of the Cavaliers making a change. Lue led the Cavs to three straight NBA Finals, and was at the helm during an improbable 3-1 series comeback and upset of the Golden State Warriors.