The Los Angeles Lakers moved quickly to secure their next head coach as it took less than a week for the team to agree to a multi-year deal with Golden State Warriors assistant Luke Walton.
Walton was viewed by many as a favorite to land the job and ultimately was the only person to interview for the position as expected talks with Spurs assistant Ettore Messina and former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt were cancelled.
After making the announcement official, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak expressed excitement about bringing in Walton and called him one of the brightest young minds in basketball via Lakers.com:
“We’re excited to bring Luke back to Los Angeles, where we feel he’s going to start an outstanding coaching career,” said Kupchak. “He’s one of the brightest young coaching minds in the game and we feel fortunate that he’ll be leading the on-court future of our team.”
It is that bright young mind that has many believing that Walton is the perfect fit for this young Lakers team. Walton’s ability to connect with younger players will play a huge role in his success in Los Angeles as he will need to get the most out of the young core of Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell, and Julius Randle.
This summer is arguably the most important in the history of the franchise as the Lakers look to turn the page after the retirement of Kobe Bryant. The team still has the draft and free agency in front of them, but step one is complete and looks to be a slam dunk for the Lakers.