By all accounts, it appears Tyronn Lue will become the new Los Angeles Lakers head coach.
With Monty Williams agreeing to become the Phoenix Suns head coach, the Lakers have zeroed in on Lue, who recently celebrated his birthday with a Lakers-themed cake.
Reports have already begun swirling about potential additions to the coaching staff with former Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel being mentioned. However, there is an even bigger name at the top of his wishlist in former Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau.
According to Frank Isola of The Athletic, Lue would love to add Thibodeau to his coaching staff as his top assistant:
The reports of Lue wanting to add his former colleague in Boston, Tom Thibodeau, to his coaching staff are also true. LeBron, through intermediaries, has let it be known that Thibodeau would be a huge asset to have on the bench. LeBron’s close associates were gauging Thibodeau’s interest in becoming a top assistant two weeks ago. It would be similar to the role Mike Brown and Ron Adams serve under Steve Kerr in Golden State.
The question is whether Thibodeau would be willing to accept such a position. He is still owed plenty of money from the Timberwolves as he had two years remaining on his contract when he was fired and there is a belief that he would only be interested in a head coaching position.
If it were to happen, it would reportedly appeal to LeBron James who has the ‘utmost respect’ for Thibodeau, but whose camp continues to deny pushing for any specific coaching hires:
A person close to LeBron has denied that LeBron is pushing for any head coach or assistant coach which is in keeping with LeBron’s “I just work here” public posture. The same person was willing to acknowledge that LeBron has the “utmost respect” for Thibodeau.
The respect for Thibodeau likely comes from his time as the top assistant for then-Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers as well as his time as the Chicago Bulls head coach. Thibodeau was known to be a defensive mastermind and James had more than his share of battles against both the Celtics and Bulls during that time.
Without a doubt, adding a head coach of this nature to Lue’s staff would be huge for him and the Lakers as a whole as they look to turn things around going into the 2019-20 NBA season.