The rumors have already started circulating the NBA about Luke Walton potentially becoming the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. The two-time NBA champion has close ties with the Lakers organization and could be a target for the team in the off-season if they choose to part ways with Byron Scott.
Although Walton’s name has been consistently linked to the Laker’ potential coaching vacancy, the 35-year-old is content being a part of Steve Kerr’s coaching staff with the Golden State Warriors. Walton continues to downplay the notion he’ll bolt for the Lakers if there’s a job opening this summer via Rusty Simmons of SFGate.com:
“We know what we have going on here is pretty darn special. I don’t think any of us are in a hurry to try to get out of here.”
Ahead of Sunday’s game against Walton’s former team, the Warriors are sporting the best record in the NBA. Golden State has lost only five games so far this season and may not lose much more with the playoffs drawing near.
Along with being the clear favorite to win the NBA titles this season, Golden State has the making of a dynasty comparable to the Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal-led Lakers. The Warriors are also on the verge of making history with the team matching or surpassing the 1995-96 record of 72-10 being a very realistic possibility.
Walton has indeed been keeping a close eye on the Lakers as he believes the team is headed in the right direction. Walton thinks D’Angelo Russell may be starting to come around, and he’s also been impressed with Larry Nance Jr. via Simmons:
“I think they’ve got some good, young talent,” Walton said. “D’Angelo (Russell) looks like he’s really starting to figure out the speed of the NBA game. He’s playing fluid and controlling the tempo, like he did in college. I’m a fan of (Larry) Nance.
“Obviously, they still need some pieces, but they’re moving in the right direction.”
As for Walton’s future, there’s little doubt his name will continue to be mentioned as a potential successor to Scott in Los Angeles. The Lakers brass will have to decide if they want to stay with Scott this summer and may choose to part ways if Walton is willing to return to Los Angeles for his first head coaching gig.