As the Los Angeles Lakers continue to search for a head coach, Philadelphia 76ers Monty Williams and former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue have emerged as the perceived frontrunners to replace Luke Walton.
After an initial meeting with each candidate, the Lakers reportedly had a contingent of owner Jeanie Buss, Rob Pelinka, assistant general manager and director of scouting Jesse Buss, head of South Bay Lakers Joey Buss, chief operating officer Tim Harris, director of special projects Linda Rambis and senior advisor Kurt Rambis join for follow-up meetings.
Lue and Williams were both said to have come away ‘impressed’ by the depth and details covered by the Lakers’ group in their respective second meetings.
Although some progress may have been made, the Lakers aren’t believed to have offered the head coach position to Lue or Williams, and it remains unclear when a hire will be made, per Brad Turner of the L.A. Times:
Neither Williams nor Lue were offered the job and neither was given a timetable on when the Lakers will make their decision, said the people who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
The Lakers announced a mutual parting with Walton on April 12. While presented by the team as a collaborative decision, there have been conflicting reports in the time since as to whether or not Walton’s desire was to remain head coach of the Lakers.
Nevertheless, he was hired by the Sacramento Kings three days later. Walton quickly landing on his feet has been undermined in some regard by a lawsuit filed against him which alleges sexual assault.
As for the Lakers’ search, although Miami Heat assistant Juwan Howard and former Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd were also interviewed, their focus has seemingly been on Lue and Williams.
Both have strong relationships with LeBron James, which presumably is a significant factor being considered. In addition to interviewing with the Lakers, Williams has also met with the Phoenix Suns.
It’s unclear if Lue has received interest from other teams.