While Luke Walton finishes up his obligations with the Golden State Warriors, he and the Los Angeles Lakers continue to work on filling out his coaching staff. The first name confirmed to join the staff was former Lakers player and assistant Brian Shaw, and now there looks to be another name headed to L.A.
Jesse Mermuys is the head coach of Raptors 905, the Toronto Raptors’ D-League affiliate, and had spent the previous two seasons as a Raptors assistant coach under Dwane Casey.
According to Chris Reichert of Upside Motor, Mermuys is expected to join Walton’s coaching staff with the Lakers:
Confirmed with multiple league sources — Jesse Mermuys (Raptors 905 HC in 15/16) will join Luke Walton's staff in Los Angeles #NBADL
— Chris Reichert (@Chris_Reichert) June 13, 2016
Mermuys doesn’t exactly fit the mold of an assistant coach with previous head coaching experience, but he has plenty of NBA experience, beginning with the Denver Nuggets in 2008. Mermuys also served as an assistant in Houston before joining Casey’s staff with the Raptors in 2013.
As the D-League coach for the Raptors, he was responsible for helping develop some of the team’s younger players that would ultimately contribute to the team. That may be what the Lakers are hoping he brings as the team is full of young players who still have a lot of room to grow.
Mermuys is also an Arizona alum, like Walton, so the two have that connection as well, which very likely played a role in bringing him on to the staff. As long as Mermuys can help develop the Lakers’ young core, he will prove to be a worthy hire.