After interviewing four candidates, the Los Angeles Lakers focused on former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue and Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams to replace former head coach Luke Walton.
As the Lakers reportedly were split on offering the head coaching job to Lue or Williams, the latter agreed to a five-year deal to become the Phoenix Suns head coach.
Since then, there have been conflicting reports about if the Lakers moved too slowly in their hiring process and were forced to move on to Lue.
However, it appears Lue was favored over Williams to become the team’s new head coach, according to Marc Stein of New York Times:
Lue was not the unanimous favorite to replace Walton among the Lakers’ many decision-makers in the wake of Magic Johnson’s abrupt April 9 resignation. He was indeed favored over Williams, but there were some nagging fears among a minority of the team’s power brokers — as mentioned here previously — that hiring LeBron’s former Cleveland Cavaliers coach would be giving James too much control in Lakerland.
Since there will be the perception of giving LeBron James too much control, the Lakers reportedly waited for Williams to make his decision:
Lue’s supporters within the organization ultimately deduced that there was only one way Lue could rise to the level of unanimous choice to succeed Walton — by waiting until Williams was no longer available.
Throughout this process, there were multiple reports about the team’s concerns if they ultimately hired Lue. However, since all four candidates have ties to James, it is a matter of hiring the best one to help the Lakers end their six-year playoff drought.
If Lue ultimately accepts the head coaching job, it appears he is determined to surround himself with the best coaching staff possible. Along with former Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel, former Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau has been mentioned as potential candidates to become Lue’s lead assistant coach.