After months of speculation, the Los Angeles Lakers and head coach Luke Walton mutually agreed to part ways Friday. The decision came three days after Magic Johnson abruptly stepped down as Lakers president of basketball operations.
Some believed Johnson’s departure would potentially pave the way to Walton remaining head coach. That notion was further supported by Walton joining general manager Rob Pelinka in Lakers exit interviews this week.
With that, the Sacramento Kings nonetheless were reported as having interest in Walton if and when they made a coaching change. Not long after Vlade Divac signed a four-year contract extension to remain Kings general manager, he fired Dave Joerger.
Now that Walton is no longer under contract with the Lakers, the Kings have requested an interview, per Marc Stein of The New York Times:
The Kings have formally requested an interview with Luke Walton, as @sam_amick just tweeted, and also intend to request permission from the Spurs to interview San Antonio assistant coach Ettore Messina, according to league sources
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) April 12, 2019
If Walton is hired by the Kings, he would inherit a young roster and at 39-43 a team coming off a surprisingly successful season.
Walton went 98-148 during his three seasons as head coach of the Lakers. They saw nine-win improvements in each of his first two years but struggled this season amid a new-look roster and rash of injuries.