Since the Los Angeles Lakers fired head coach Luke Walton three weeks ago, general manager Rob Pelinka and company interviewed four potential candidates.
Out of the group, former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue and Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams were viewed as the frontrunners.
As the Lakers reportedly were split on offering the job to one of them, Williams agreed to a five-year deal to become the Phoenix Suns head coach.
With the Lakers in negotiations with Lue now, former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson supports the team’s decision, according to Brad Turner and Tania Ganguli of Los Angeles Times:
Johnson and Buss had a dinner Thursday night during which they discussed Buss’ pending decision. Even though Johnson abruptly resigned as the president of basketball operations on April 9, Buss still considers him a close confidante and values his opinion on the direction of the franchise. Johnson expressed his support for Lue and impressed upon Buss how difficult a feat it is to make three consecutive NBA Finals appearances, the source said.
In addition to former head coach Phil Jackson’s endorsement of his former player, Johnson and owner Jeanie Buss recently met for dinner to discuss the team’s future. While there will be a certain perception about this potential hiring, the Lakers ultimately felt Lue was the best candidate to replace Walton.
As the Lakers reportedly will not interview any new candidates, they need to learn from their mistakes and properly construct a roster around LeBron James and the young core. Instead of ‘tough-minded’ playmakers, Los Angeles is in need of three-point shooters and rim protectors heading into the 2019-20 NBA season.