Since Mike D’Antoni resigned as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers 12 days ago, many coaches have expressed interest in the vacant position. While the Lakers have not reached out to any coaching candidates, they are expected to do phone interviews soon and have sit-down sessions by the end of the month, according to ESPN.
With the draft lottery on May 20, general manager Mitch Kupchak says the Lakers would like to know what pick they have before deciding what direction to go for their next coach, according to Lakers.com Mike Trudell:
“You do take into consideration the make up of your roster. Although I won’t rule out hiring a coach prior to the lottery on May 20, I think it’s likely that we don’t, because that’s really the first step in terms of additional information for this franchise. Let’s find out what kind of pick we have. That may even help us decide what direction to go with for our coach. It will be a consideration.”
While the Lakers finished this past season with the worst record since moving to Los Angeles, there are numerous well-qualified candidates available. Although Kobe Bryant hopes the team asks him for his opinion on this next coach, the organization also needs to take their draft pick into consideration.
Heading into the off-season, Kupchak and the Lakers face their most difficult one since the 2003-04 season where Phil Jackson retired, Shaquille O’Neal was traded, and Kobe Bryant nearly signed with the Los Angeles Clippers. While Bryant is making his way back to the basketball court after another season-ending injury, it will be interesting to see what direction the team takes this summer.
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