Earlier this week, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue and Philadelphia 76ers assistant Monty Williams would be seriously considered to replace Luke Walton as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. So far, that’s held true.
Yahoo Sources: The Lakers have reached out to Tyronn Lue regarding their head coach position and are expected to meet at some point next week.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) April 13, 2019
The 41-year-old Missouri native is reportedly considered the frontrunner for the job and it’s easy to see why. Not only does Lue have a rapport with the Lakers’ lone superstar, LeBron James, but he also has ties to the organization as a player, which seems to be important to this team specifically.
He’s also been part of a championship roster, both as a player and a coach, so he knows what it takes to win at the highest level. However, Lue’s most relevant skill to the Lakers’ head coaching job is his ability to build an offense around James.
In each of the three years Lue coached James, the Cavaliers had a top-five offense. Sure, James made Lue look good, but Lue put him a position to succeed with the help of the front office, who surrounded James with 3-point shooters. With James under contract for at least two more seasons, the front office’s priority should be trying to replicate that success.
Defensively, Lue’s reputation is a mixed bag. In his first season in Cleveland, the Cavaliers had a top-10 defense, allowing just 103.9 points per 100 possessions, but in his last year with the team, Lue coached the Cavs to the second-worst defensive rating in the NBA. And yet, James carried that team to the NBA Finals.
It’s possible that more names will leak out within the coming days, but it seems like Lue is exactly what the Lakers are looking for, even if he’s not the best head coaching candidate available.