The Los Angeles Lakers have a busy week ahead of them. After getting two of their initial interviews for the vacant head coaching job out of the way this week, they’ll be conducting a few more interviews next week, including their first interview with Miami Heat assistant Juwan Howard.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Lakers plan on meeting with Howard on Tuesday. Following that meeting, they’re hoping to meet with Philadelphia 76ers assistant Monty Williams for a second time, but this time with team president and controlling owner Jeanie Buss present.
However, when and where they’ll do that is dependent on how the Sixers close out their series against the Brooklyn Nets, per the report:
While the Lakers hope to have second interviews in Los Angeles next week, the logistics of a second meeting with Williams likely hinge on the status of the Sixers’ playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets. It is possible the Lakers leadership could travel to meet with Williams back East.
The Sixers currently lead the series 2-1. The soonest they could end things is next Tuesday.
Williams and former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue have been viewed as the frontrunners for the team’s head coaching job since it opened up last week, but Howard could emerge as a dark horse in this race.
Unlike Lue and Williams, Howard has close ties to Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka because they both played on the historic “Fab Five” team at the University of Michigan. For a franchise that’s known to take care of their own (sometimes to a fault), that could work in his favor.
Howard also has ties to LeBron James, who he played alongside in Miami from 2010 to when he retired in 2013. Following his retirement, Howard coached James during his final season with the Heat.
Add all of that to the fact that he specializes in player development and defensive coordination, and we could have a serious three-person race for one of the most coveted jobs in all of sports. This should be a fun one.