At the conclusion of the 2018-19 NBA season, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton was widely expected to be fired following his third season.
However, in an extremely shocking move, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson stepped down while Walton still faces an uncertain future.
As Johnson was prepared to make that decision, there was already a list of potential candidates to replace Walton such as former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue, former Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd, and former Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson.
However, it appears Johnson had two primary targets in mind including LeBron James’ former head coach, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
Former Cavs coach Tyronn Lue, Sixers assistant Monty Williams and former Warriors coach Mark Jackson were on the short list of candidates to replace Walton, with Lue and Williams being the primary targets, sources said.
With the Lakers reportedly considering Walton to ‘alter’ his coaching staff, it will be interesting to see what steps they take first. If the Lakers hire a new president of basketball operations first, he/she could want a new general manager and head coach.
As the Lakers attempt to navigate through this uncertainty, they made their first offseason move by firing head athletic trainer Marco Nunez. With the Lakers missing 212 games due to injury, it is an area they need to improve in if they want to end their six-year playoff drought.