UPDATE 6/2/16 (3:12 PM PT): According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, J.B. Bickerstaff has agreed to become Associate Head Coach of the Memphis Grizzlies:
Sources: Memphis has reached agreement with JB Bickerstaff as associate head coach. Lakers were among teams pursuing him.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 2, 2016
Arguably the most important move the Los Angeles Lakers will make this off-season was the hiring of new head coach Luke Walton. After the last three seasons, a young, fresh face on the bench who can connect with the Lakers’ young players will likely make a major difference.
With Walton having no head coaching experience, aside from his brief stint as interim coach for the Golden State Warriors this season, the Lakers made it known that they wanted to surround Walton with assistants who had head coaching experience. The hiring of Brian Shaw fit that bill and reportedly the Lakers have their eyes on another one in former Houston Rockets interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff.
According to Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal, the Lakers are courting Bickerstaff to be a part of Walton’s staff:
Memphis is said to be offering Bickerstaff $750,000. However, Bickerstaff is also being courted by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bickerstaff’s name has been brought up before in regards to joining the Lakers’ staff as he has a good relationship with Walton. Bickerstaff was thrust into interim role with the Rockets after Kevin McHale was fired only 11 games into the season. He went 37-34 in leading the Rockets to the playoffs despite a lot of reported issues amongst the players.
Walton being flanked by Shaw and Bickerstaff would be excellent as they each bring different experiences and mindsets and will be able to pass along plenty of knowledge to Walton in his first head coaching foray. There haven’t been many names mentioned as potential coaching staff hires, but once Walton is finished with his Golden State Warriors responsibilities, it wouldn’t be shocking for the rest of the staff to fall in.