Despite head coach Mike D’Antoni resigning over two weeks ago, the Los Angeles Lakers have yet to formally reach out to any potential replacements. General manger Mitch Kupchak has said the franchise will take their time and complete a thorough coaching search after the disastrous tenures of both Mike Brown and D’Antoni.
While the team seems to be waiting until after the May 20th Draft Lottery to hire a new coach, they have watched two possible replacements in Stan Van Gundy and rumored favorite Steve Kerr sign on with the Detroit Pistons and Golden State Warriors respectively. The Lakers still have a long list of names they are considering, with former Crenshaw High School and current UConn head coach Kevin Ollie rumored to be one their favorites.
However, according to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal, if the Lakers or any other interested team wishes to steal Ollie from UConn, they will have to be willing to pay big money:
If one of them wants UConn’s Kevin Ollie, it’s going to cost them.
One source with knowledge of at least one team’s coaching search said Ollie will want a contract larger than the five-year, $25 million deal the Golden State Warriors handed Steve Kerr.
Lloyd explains that Ollie believes he is worth more money than Kerr because of his success as a coach when compared to the former Chicago sharp-shooter:
The reasoning is simple: Ollie has a longer record of success and accomplished more (won a national title) than Kerr has as a head coach. This is Kerr’s first head-coaching job.
Ollie has done a tremendous job in his two short years at UConn as they just won the NCAA championship despite being massive underdogs. Along with his success as a coach, Ollie is highly regarded among active NBA players, including superstar Kevin Durant, who the Lakers are rumored to be interested in.
The Lakers have seen both of their recent head coaches leave before their contracts expired, so it will be interesting to see if the franchise would consider giving Ollie a multi-year contract. If the Lakers sign a young head coach like Ollie, they may be signaling that they are fully embracing the rebuild mode.
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