The best NBA head coaches available on the open market have begun the interview process with some already agreeing to terms with a new team. Arguably the most sought-after coach available, Tom Thibodeau, is now off the table and the Los Angeles Lakers may have missed a golden opportunity to start over with him at the helm.
Thibodeau has reportedly agreed to become President and head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves on a five-year deal, but it seems the former Chicago Bulls coach wanted to be in Los Angeles.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, Thibodeau thought he had what it takes to make the Lakers a superstar destination once again:
Tom Thibodeau always believed he could lure free agents to the Los Angeles Lakers, that the proper structure and vision still makes that franchise the ultimate superstar destination. Thibodeau always had his eyes on the most glamorous job in basketball, but the Lakers hesitated and missed the chance to recruit him.
The Lakers currently have Byron Scott under contract for two more seasons. Los Angeles can easily part ways with Scott after next season by simply not picking up the team option on his contract, but many fans of the storied franchise are already calling for a change at head coach after two forgettable seasons.
The consensus among the fan base is Scott has outstayed his welcome in Los Angeles, and a change needs to be made as soon as possible to right the ship immediately. The Lakers have gone from a 21-win team to a franchise-worst 17 wins in Scott’s two-year stint in Los Angeles with a crucial NBA offseason ahead filled with opportunity to get the team back on track.
Thibodeau isn’t the only coach the team may miss out on this summer with Scott Brooks in negotiations with the Washington Wizards to be Randy Wittman’s successor, via Wojnarowski:
Brooks has been enthusiastic about reaching an agreement with the Wizards and could complete negotiations on a contract that will pay him in the range of $7 million a season, league sources told The Vertical.
With Brooks potentially off the market along with Thibodeau, the Lakers could be left with limited options. Former Laker and current Golden State Warriors assistant coach, Luke Walton, has been rumored as a target for Los Angeles this summer, but there’s no guarantee he leaves Steve Kerr’s staff or is interested in taking over a rebuilding team.
Only a week after Kobe Bryant’s retirement, the pressure is already on in Los Angeles with the Lakers brass having to make some tough decisions moving forward. It remains to be seen if the team decides to make a change at head coach or keeps Scott at the helm for at least one more season.