One week ago, Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson suddenly resigned prior to the final game of the 2018-19 NBA season.
Since then, the Lakers are still without a president of basketball operations and head coach as general manager Rob Pelinka’s role has seemingly increased.
With Pelinka conducting the coaching search, the Lakers will be meeting with three candidates in former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue, Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams, and Miami Heat assistant coach Juwan Howard.
And within coaching circles, there is belief that Williams actually has a good shot at the team’s head coaching job, according to Marc Stein of New York Times:
What that means so far is interviews for their coaching vacancy in the coming days with Monty Williams of the 76ers; Tyronn Lue, the former Cleveland Cavaliers coach; and the Miami Heat assistant Juwan Howard — with a buzz circulating in coaching circles that Williams has a stronger-than-expected shot at the job because some in the Lakers’ organization may fear hiring Lue would be giving LeBron too much control.
As Lue won one championship in three consecutive NBA Finals appearances with LeBron James, he has been the ‘most frequently cited’ in coaching circles. While the Lakers should have some concerns, the reality is James has to buy into the team’s new head coach in order for them to be successful.
Along with Lue, Williams and Howard have past relationships with James. As Williams was a Team USA assistant coach, Howard won two championships with James before retiring and becoming a Heat assistant coach.