After parting ways with Byron Scott following his second season with the team, the coaching search has officially begun for the Los Angeles Lakers with plenty of candidates to consider moving forward. Although there are three or four obvious names that have already surfaced as Scott’s potential successor, there’s one big-name college coach that appears to be in the conversation once again.
According to Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times, John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats is an intriguing candidate for the Lakers in their search for a new head coach:
Lakers will also talk to some college coaches. Calipari is "intriguing," but Lakers not entirely certain on him, I've been told.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) April 25, 2016
Before the Lakers brass settled on hiring Scott a few years, Calipari’s name was often mentioned as a potential target for the team. Rumors began to surface on a weekly basis about Calipari’s future as he led his Wildcats to the NCAA Championship Game back in 2014 with current Lakers forward Julius Randle as his star player.
Calipari repeatedly shot down the notion of potentially taking the Lakers job after Mike D’Antoni decided to resign. Scott was ultimately signed to a four-year deal which lasted only two years after two of the worst seasons in franchise history.
With the Lakers job open once again, Calipari might have to take a second look at the possibility of trying his luck in the NBA once more. The storied franchise is chalk full of young talent with his prized pupil in Randle helping lead the way into the future alongside D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson.
Along with a talented young roster, the Lakers could end up keeping their lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft with the potential of landing LSU’s Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram out of Duke. Calipari’s squad in Los Angeles would be filled with impressionable young talent and could provide the perfect opportunity to resurrect his coaching career on the NBA level with players he could develop quickly.
The addition of Calipari may also be a step in the right direction heading into free agency on July 1. Calipari’s presence might help recruit a few more pieces to the puzzle in Los Angeles helping this team turn things around quicker than expected.