Former Los Angeles Lakers player and assistant coach Brian Shaw is on the "short-list" of candidates to join the recently hired Luke Waltons coaching staff, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical. Wojnarowski reports that Walton is in the early stages of building his staff in Los Angeles, so nothing is locked in, but Shaw would make a lot of sense as a top candidate given his resume.
Shaw previously served the Lakers as an assistant coach under Phil Jackson during Walton's time with the team, before ultimately leaving to take an associate head coaching position with the Indiana Pacers and later moving on to take over the Denver Nuggets as head coach before being fired last year.
While some would view that organizational familiarity as a plus, Wojnarowski reports that Shaw's time with the Lakers isn't necessarily a positive mark in his candidacy to join this coaching staff because it was spent under Jackson:
Lakers executive vice president Jim Buss resisted Shaw as a head-coaching candidate before the hiring of Byron Scott, and many in the league doubt his enthusiasm over having another Jackson loyalist rejoining the coaching staff.
Jackson is of course often rumored as a replacement for Buss should he fail to meet his deadline to get the Lakers back to contention and step down next summer, so Buss' rumored reticence to make that easier than he already has with the hiring of Walton is somewhat understandable.
However, if he is hired, Shaw is by all accounts a standout assistant coach Walton would be well-served to have on his staff. Shaw's time in Denver flamed out spectacularly, but he contributed to the Lakers' last two titles as a top assistant and helped coach some fantastic Pacers teams as well. And while Walton has been touted as a great relationship builder already, Shaw's education on how to deal with millennials and ability to rap scouting reports can only help the coaching staff reach their very young team.
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