Lakers Rumors: Luke Walton Viewed As ‘Top Potential Replacement’ If Suns Fire Igor Kokoskov
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While the arrival of LeBron James in free agency brought about excitement for the Los Angeles Lakers, it also heightened pressure on the franchise. Particularly for head coach Luke Walton, especially when taking into account James’ track record and reputation.

And though Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka emphasized they would be understanding of a slow start to the season, actions suggested otherwise. As the Lakers began 2-5, Johnson let into Walton during a contentious meeting.

That put the third-year head coach back on the hot seat even after Johnson attempted to voice his public support. Perhaps because it came with the caveat that Walton would remain head coach of the Lakers so long as nothing ‘drastic’ occurred. Johnson declined to elaborate on that.

With the Lakers skidding toward the end of a sixth consecutive season in which they will miss the playoffs, the general perception is Walton will get fired. If that’s the case, the Phoenix Suns could pursue him should they also make a coaching change, per Sean Deveney of Sporting News:

A source told Sporting News that Walton, who starred at Arizona, is seen as a top potential replacement for Kokoskov should the Suns make a move.

Amid ongoing speculation involving his job security and relationship with James, Walton’s ties to Arizona reportedly had him identified by his alma mater as a possible replacement for Sean Miller. Additionally, UCLA was said to have interest in Walton.

While Walton’s in-game decisions and lineups this season have earned him criticism, at times overblown and in other cases warranted, he’s shown flashes of developing as a head coach over the past three years. That seemingly has Walton in position to find another job if his tenure with the Lakers comes to a close next month.

You May Also Like

NBA Rumors: Board Of Governors Expected To Approve Changes To Shot Clock, Clear-Path Foul Rules, And ‘Hostile Act’ Determination For 2018-19 Season

The NBA is constantly evolving, looking to change or add things that will benefit both the players as well as the fan…

Lakers Rumors: Jeanie Buss Thought About LeBron James Trade Due To Belief Rich Paul Leaked Anthony Davis Trade Talks

When the Los Angeles Lakers signed LeBron James to a four-year contract, it instantly changed the trajectory and feeling…

Lakers Free Agency Rumors: Lance Stephenson Signs With Liaoning On One-Year, $4 Million Deal

After the Los Angeles Lakers signed LeBron James to a four-year, $154 million deal in 2018 NBA free agency, their first…

NBA Rumors: Indiana Pacers Call Cleveland Cavaliers About Paul George Trade

Paul George has let the Indiana Pacers know that he will leave them in free agency next summer, so the team is looking to trade him so they can get something in return rather than lose him for nothing…