As the Los Angeles Lakers head coaching search has begun to unfold, it was looking apparent that former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue was going to become former head coach Luke Walton’s replacement.
That suddenly changed when it was reported that talks between the two sides had ‘reached an impasse,’ clouding Lue’s potential future with the Lakers.
It is unclear how much of a standstill they are at and it is still very possible that Lue ends up being the team’s head coach, but this is still a bad look for the Lakers considering how much criticism they have taken for how they have handled things since former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson’s resignation.
Why the Lakers and Lue haven’t been able to come to an agreement is unknown, but it could have to do with them forcing Lue to include specific assistant coaches on his staff. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, they are pushing for former Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd after he impressed them during the interview process:
Discussions have included talks on contract and assistant coaching staff, sources said. Among Lakers hopes on a Lue staff: Jason Kidd. He made a strong impression with management in his head coaching interview and had a productive history w/ Bucks developing young talent. https://t.co/uQxTjqWAm7
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 8, 2019
While Kidd is unquestionably a Hall of Fame player, his reputation as a head coach is nowhere near as strong after two unsuccessful stints with the Brooklyn Nets and Bucks.
Other big-name coaches that have been discussed include former Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic head coach Frank Vogel and former Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau. He and LeBron James are both believed to be more open to either of them.
Head coaches are usually awarded the freedom to put their own staff together after getting hired by teams, so it is easy to see why Lue may be hesitant to take the job if they are requiring him to include Kidd — or any other specific name — on his staff without his approval.
To further complicate things, when Kidd made the move from coaching the Nets to the Bucks, the head coach he replaced in Milwaukee after what many people considered him scheming for the job was head coach Larry Drew.
Drew then went on to serve as an assistant coach on Lue’s staff in Cleveland, which could be the reason why Lue does not think highly of Kidd and is unwilling to include him on his staff with the Lakers.
Lue acted with integrity in his route to potentially getting the Lakers job, even going as far as to tell Walton personally that the Lakers didn’t contact him about the job while Walton was still at the helm of the Lakers towards the end of last season. Kidd, on the other hand, openly lobbied to be the team’s next head coach before Walton was out the door.