The Los Angeles Lakers hoped to have a long-term solution in head coach Luke Walton and while he outlasted predecessors Mike Brown, Mike D’Antoni and Byron Scott, Walton’s tenure came to an end after just three seasons.
He spent much of the 2018-19 NBA season on the proverbial hot seat, particularly after a contentious meeting with former Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson. Walton’s fate was seemingly all but decided come the end of the season, but there was some belief that changed with Johnson’s sudden resignation.
Three days after Johnson stepped down, the Lakers and Walton cut ties. While it was presented as a mutual decision, a report suggested Walton hoped to remain with the franchise. He nonetheless landed on his feet three days later by officially being hired as head coach of the Sacramento Kings.
Meanwhile, the Lakers’ search has primarily focused on former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue and Philadelphia 76ers assistant Monty Williams. According to Brad Turner of the L.A. Times, Lue is scheduled to meet with Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka this week:
Tyronn Lue is meeting with Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka Friday in Los Angeles about the team’s head coaching job that became available when Luke Walton was let go, per sources.
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) April 16, 2019
Pelinka and top Lakers executives are also expected to travel to the East Coast for a meeting with Williams prior to Game 3 of the Sixers’ first-round playoff series with the Brooklyn Nets. Philadelphia’s win on Monday night pulled them even.
Lue was fired by Cavs after an 0-6 start to the season. He went 211-183 over parts of four years at the helm, which included three straight trips to the NBA Finals and one championship.