Early list of Lakers head coach interviewees

David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

The early candidates are in, featuring a host of familiar names.

UPDATE, 5/1 1:46 p.m.: The Lakers are expected to contact the Chicago Bulls for permission to speak with current head coach Tom Thibodeau, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

The Los Angeles Lakers have begun their search for a new head coach, and a preliminary list of candidates the franchise will interview has been compiled. The interviewees include: Kurt Rambis, Byron Scott, George Karl, Jeff Van Gundy, Kevin Ollie and John Calipari, reports Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.

Rambis was an obvious interviewee after he joined Mike D'Antoni's coaching staff last summer, and Scott is also an expected candidate the front office will speak with. Calipari is a sexy name from the college ranks, though just hours ago he tweeted he is "totally committed" to his group of Kentucky Wildcats and he "wouldn't and couldn't" leave the program.

Jeff Van Gundy is another standout name who has dealt with big market scrutiny in the past, though he hasn't coached since the 2006-2007 season. George Karl has not coached since departing the Denver Nuggets following the 2012-2013 season. Kevin Ollie is fresh off a National Championship with UCONN and could be another interesting option going forward.

The team is expected to continue expanding its coaching search as this is only the initial batch of names the team will reach out to, according to Bresnahan. The first of many Lakers head coach search updates has arrived.

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