There exists a popular perception around the league that James values former players who are more inclined to provide support and act as a sounding board than establish their own structure. The thinking goes that “coaching LeBron” means coaching around LeBron, or deferring to him.
Doc Rivers: When asked for an ideal candidate, multiple NBA insiders -- including executives, coaches and a high-profile active player -- recommended the LA Clippers' head coach. His name circulated so widely in NBA circles that he had to publicly temper rumors a few weeks ago.
There isn't a more disciplined organization in the NBA, and Spoelstra is a process junkie. Those in Miami say Howard's gravitas as a coach, already present on Day 1, has only grown over time. He has developed a passion for the craft and has honed his tactical knowledge. Is Howard the basketball brainiac LeBron demands? It's hard to say, but the sense from those who know is that, provided he takes the task of staffing his bench seriously, he'd be afforded the benefit of the doubt.
Ramona Shelburne: Pelinka will run the Lakers coaching search. As @Adrian Wojnarowski reported Ty Lue is one of the leading candidates. The expectation is they will talk to others, too, though.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Monty Williams candidacy is a serious one with the Lakers, league sources tell ESPN. He has history with LeBron James as a Team USA assistant and a successful run w/ Pelicans as a head coach. Ty Lue checks the boxes too: ex-Laker, championship coach, LeBron James-approved.
Brad Turner: Two names for Lakers job to keep eye on are Ty Lue and Monty Williams, assistant with 76ers. Don’t expect to see Jason Kidd on that list
Sam Amick: Monty Williams is held in high regard by the Kings as well and is a candidate, but source confirms that he'll now have a very real crack at the Lakers job as well. Monty coached Kings assistant GM Peja Stojakovic in New Orleans.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Ty Lue is a strong frontrunner for the Lakers coaching job, league sources tell ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sixers assistant Monty Williams joins Ty Lue as the central candidates in the Lakers search, league sources tell ESPN. Process is expected to center on them.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Luke Walton have mutually agreed to part ways, it was announced today by Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka.
"We would like to thank Luke for his dedicated service over the last three years," said Pelinka. "We wish Luke and his family the best of luck moving forward." "I want to thank Jeanie Buss and the Buss family for giving me the opportunity to coach the Lakers," said Walton. "This franchise and the city will always be special to me and my family."
Adrian Wojnarowski: Luke Walton has two years left on his contract, but only next season is guaranteed, per source. Lakers hold option on 2020-21 season. Johnson planned to fire him, but stumbled into his own resignation on the way. Somehow, Walton survived Magic Johnson. He didn't see that coming.
Dave McMenamin: Magic Johnson says the decision was not over Luke Walton’s job status. He says making this announcement, which, Jeanie Buss isn’t aware of yet, is a “monkey off my back.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Lakers coaching staff fully expected to be fired in hours after the final game of the season. They had believed they were gone for months. Now? Magic quits in public, saying he's too scared to tell Jeanie Buss face-to-face. What an embarrassing episode for a historic franchise.
Tania Ganguli: Magic Johnson steps down as Lakers president. He hasn’t said it outright but is hinting strongly that he planned to fire Luke Walton and that won’t happen now. He is getting emotional and hasn’t told Jeanie yet he says.
Dave McMenamin: Luke Walton asked before Game 82 if he has any anxiety about his future with the Lakers: “No. No anxiety. ... But call me later tonight and maybe that answer will be different”
Bill Oram: Bill Walton is at the game tonight in a Lakers polo. He and wife Lori are here as “very proud parents,” he said. The uncomfortable subtext is that it is widely thought this could be Luke’s last game at the helm for the Lakers.
Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss intends to let her front office of Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka make the decision on whether to retain embattled coach Luke Walton after the season concludes, sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.
Buss has been one of Walton's staunchest allies during his three seasons in L.A. However, his working relationship with Johnson and Pelinka has not been as close. It has been "weeks" since Walton had a meaningful conversation with Johnson, according to team sources.
Marc Stein: Miami Heat assistant coach Juwan Howard would indeed be a candidate for the Lakers' head coaching job, I'm told, if it opens as so many around the league have expected for weeks. Yet I'm also told he should not be billed as the frontrunner ... as some bookmakers have this week
Mike Fisher: Re the story of the #Lakers seeking to steal coach Rick Carlisle from the #Mavs - I asked owner @Mark Cuban for his thoughts. 'LOL,' he responded. 'Would you like to expand on that?' I asked. 'Nope,' Cuban said. 'LOL. That's my quote.' Full story coming to DallasBasketball.com pic.twitter.com/sy41OQKrNC
The Clippers’ Doc Rivers isn’t the only championship (and currently employed) coach said to interest the Los Angeles Lakers. I’m told that the Lakers, who are widely expected to dismiss the beleaguered Luke Walton at season’s end, are also big fans of Dallas’ Rick Carlisle.
Who, then, will the Lakers hire? The name most frequently cited in league coaching circles is the very available Tyronn Lue. Lue, of course, is a former Laker who is better known for having coached LeBron James for 2 1/2 seasons in Cleveland. The presumed acceptance he would have from James, who is about to begin his first postseason as a spectator since 2005, would appear to give Lue with a significant advantage over the rest of the field.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Steve Ballmer and Doc Rivers did a short extension over the summer that allowed both sides a chance to escape deal in 2019. As Rivers told reporters, that's been replaced with a longer-term deal. For Rivers, Lakers were never a consideration. He wanted to crush that talk today.
Dan Woike: Doc Rivers said he and Steve Ballmer have agreed to an extension. Extension originally had an out this summer, but that’s been scrapped. “This is a great place to work.”
The Suns have not committed to bringing first-year coach Igor Kokoskov back for next season, and with just 16 wins, Phoenix could take a step backward in a season in which improvement was expected. A source told Sporting News that Walton, who starred at Arizona, is seen as a top potential replacement for Kokoskov should the Suns make a move.
But Walton could look elsewhere for opportunities, given the apparent dysfunction in Phoenix. According to sources, the Cavaliers will seek a coach who can develop the franchise’s young players, particularly point guard Collin Sexton and whomever the Cavs select in this year’s draft. Should Cleveland land a top-three pick, the job will look much better.
It was James’ associates, remember, who tried to get the Lakers to hire former Heat assistant David Fizdale (who went to the Knicks) last spring before James joined the team, an idea that was quickly nixed by Buss. And while James might want to retread his old coach, former Lakers guard Tyronn Lue, or his old Olympic teammate, Jason Kidd, Johnson may want a push for Michigan State coach and friend Tom Izzo, who’s given no indication he wants to leave the collegiate ranks. Expect Buss, who has backed Walton all year, to support a reasonable, qualified head coach who can please multiple factions, like Monty Williams.
August 19, 2022 | 3:27 am EDT Update
The German forward Isaac Bonga returns to Europe after four seasons in the NBA to sign with the EuroLeague team FC Bayern Munich, sources tell BasketNews. According to BasketNews sources, a 22-year-old had NBA interest but has reached an agreement with the German club.
“[LeBron James] recognizes that it could lead up all the way to the trade deadline before that type of deal could occur.” – Dave McMenamin on the Lakers improving their roster via potential Kyrie Irving, Buddy Hield/Myles Turner, or Utah trades.
Donovan Mitchell’s trade links to the New York Knicks are in full swing again after previous reports indicated that the Knicks have re-engaged negotiations with the Utah Jazz. The 25-year-old has added more fire to the flame after he was spotted in Rucker Park, one of the most iconic basketball spots in New York City, on Wednesday. Mitchell posted a photo of himself hanging out with some kids at the park. The Jazz star was clearly having quite the time (h/t ClutchPoints on Twitter):
In the recent URBONUS podcast episode, James said that he has no bad feelings about Steph, and many took his words out of context. “I think I said a lot of controversial things in general because I think outside the box. But for some reason, every time I mention Steph Curry, everybody gets mad, and everybody assumes I don’t like him,” James smiled. “But I think he’s amazing. To be honest, he changed basketball. Like seven years ago, everybody started shooting threes and playing small ball. Not only because of him. Like 75% of him, and then like the other 25% the Warriors. I don’t have a problem with him,” James told on the BasketNews show.
During his show on 620 Rip City Radio in Portland, host Chad Doing mentioned that he had heard that the announcers would not go on the road with the Blazers. His co-host, Dwight Jaynes, then confirmed the report. “I have confirmed from several sources that that is the plan for the Trail Blazers,” Jaynes said. “That they will not be sending radio or television on the road with their team. Also, what I’ve heard and I’ve tried to check this out, I have not found any other team in the league that’s doing this. I believe they may be the only team in the league doing it — when they’re on the road. And I just think that’s really unfortunate and difficult.”