Over the past couple of months there has been a lot of movement within the Lakers organization, though that has mostly been within the front office. For the most part, Luke Walton’s coaching staff has remained intact, with one exception.
Player development coach Theo Robertson left the Lakers to return to his alma mater, Cal Berkeley. Now it looks as if the Lakers have found his replacement in Arizona Wildcat alum Miles Simon, according to Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:
Lakers are finalizing a deal to hire Miles Simon to fill the coaching vacancy left by Theo Robertson. Staff gets another Arizona guy.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) May 26, 2017
Simon has been a broadcaster with ESPN since 2009, but before then spend three years as an assistant coach at his alma mater under then-head coach Lute Olson. He was an extremely decorated college player, teaming with the likes of Mike Bibby, Damon Stoudemire, and Jason Terry and helping lead the Wildcats to a National Championship in 1997.
Of course Walton is also an Arizona alum so there are some ties there. Assistant coaches Jesse Mermuys and Jud Buechler are also former Wildcats so adding Simon would make it four Arizona alums on the Lakers coaching staff.
Simon stepping into a player development role will be extremely important as the Lakers have a number of young players who have a lot of developing to do. In addition to the likes of Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, and D’Angelo Russell, the Lakers also have two first-round picks in the upcoming NBA Draft.