With just three games remaining to conclude the 2018-19 NBA season, all of the attention has naturally been on head coach Luke Walton’s future with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Regardless of the injuries to LeBron James and the young core, Walton has been viewed as the team’s scapegoat with them missing the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season.
While Walton has some shortcomings, the reality is president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka ultimately did not hire him.
As there are already potential head coaching candidates, Miami Heat assistant coach Juwan Howard would be on the list, according to Marc Stein of New York Times:
Miami Heat assistant coach Juwan Howard would indeed be a candidate for the Lakers' head coaching job, I'm told, if it opens as so many around the league have expected for weeks. Yet I'm also told he should not be billed as the frontrunner … as some bookmakers have this week
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) April 5, 2019
From the 2010-13 NBA seasons, James and Howard were actually teammates on the Miami Heat. After winning two championships, Howard made the transition to an assistant coach where he has held that position for the last six seasons and counting.
If the Lakers ultimately make another coaching change, James will have to trust the new head coach. While former Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd and former Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson are reportedly options, former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue appears to be the name among coaching circles.