After relieving Byron Scott of his coaching duties earlier this week, the search for Los Angeles Lakers’ next head man in charge has begun.
While there ere quite a few potential targets, it seems as if two candidates have emerged as the early favorites, Spurs assistant Ettore Messina, and Warriors assistant and former Laker Luke Walton.
Walton created some buzz in the league after leading the Warriors to a 39-4 record while as the interim en rout to a historic season. Legendary coach and University of Arizona icon Lute Olson expressed his interest in seeing his former pupil take the reigns in Los Angeles according to Sam Amick of USA Today Sports:
“I’d love to see him with the Lakers. He has a home in Manhattan Beach still or a condo or whatever. Just having him close by would be really nice. It would give us a reason to go into LA other than shopping.”
Although Olson made it clear that he would love to catch up with Walton on a personal note, the two-time National Coach of the year also added that the Lakers’ current situation is quite an enticing one:
“I think when i look at the Lakers, they have a lot of good, young players. Kobe is gone now, but they’ve got good young players to build that franchise with a lot of money to spend (in free agency). I’d love to see him there.”
While Walton has maintained that he is focusing solely on the playoffs, the Lakers’ young core, deep pockets, and potential top-3 pick give Walton plenty of reasons to return to the purple and gold.
The Lakers have been granted permission to speak with Walton and that will likely take place soon while the Warriors are in between playoff series. The team has also been granted permission to speak with Messina.