After the Los Angeles Lakers and Luke Walton agreed to mutually part ways on Friday, the writing seemed to be on the wall for his coaching staff, who the organization was reportedly dissatisfied with and had requested Walton alter.
And in a week filled with unexpected staffing changes for the Lakers, this one stayed on the predictable path, as Walton’s entire staff — Brian Shaw, Brian Keefe, Clay Moser, Jesse Mermuys and Mark Madsen — outside of Miles Simon has apparently been let go.
By the way, the only member of the coaching staff still listed on official Lakers site is player development assistant Miles Simon. That aligns with what I heard earlier in the day that he was only member of staff not let go along w/ Luke. https://t.co/xmvCKzJq9Z— Bill Oram (@billoram) April 13, 2019
For Simon, this stay of execution may only be procedural, as he runs the team’s draft workouts, and the Lakers may not realistically have another qualified candidate they could bring in to do so this close to the 2019 NBA Draft. However, as they haven’t let him go yet, it would seem at least theoretically possible that Simon sticks around.
Simon has worked mostly in player development for the Lakers, most notably guiding their three prized rookies from the 2017 NBA Draft — Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma — during their first two seasons.
Coming into their second seasons, he was trying to help Ball improve his ballhandling and getting Kuzma to work on his defense, among other things, and to varying degrees of success. If those players feel really strongly about Simon’s work and advocate for him, he theoretically could be kept on staff by whoever eventually replaces Walton.
If not, it will be interesting to see how the Lakers handle Simon’s situation, as unofficial coaching free agency is going on right now, with various staffs filling musical chairs around the league, as it seems Walton may be set to do with the Sacramento Kings:
Just landed in SF and was told that Vlade Divac has contacted Luke Walton about Sacramento Kings job and is trying to set up meeting with the former Lakers coach, per source— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) April 12, 2019
Was told Vlade Divac was glad to hear Luke Walton and Lakers had mutually agreed to part ways today, per source— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) April 12, 2019
If the Lakers kept Simon long enough that he wasn’t able to find a spot elsewhere it would be sort of a bad look for the organization, even if it’s understandable that they need someone to put their draft prospects through the paces next month. We’ll see what happens, but for now, Simon is the last man standing.