The Los Angeles Lakers have had a busy week of interviewing coaching candidates, with Jason Kidd dropping by the office on Monday to meet with general manager Rob Pelinka and Kurt Rambis for hours, Miami Heat assistant Juwan Howard having his first interview on Tuesday and the team set for a second meeting with Tyronn Lue on Wednesday.
Lakers owner Jeanie Buss will reportedly be present for the follow-up interview with Lue, and is also set to head to the team’s second interview with Philadelphia 76ers assistant Monty Williams, which we now know will take place on Thursday, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Williams was reportedly the “top candidate” for the Lakers’ vacant head coaching job, and him making it to the second round of interviews means he likely hasn’t done anything to change that. Meeting with ownership, in that case, should be seen as a meaningful step because it would theoretically allow the Lakers to move on Williams more quickly than if Buss didn’t have any familiarity with him.
And if the Lakers decide Williams is their guy, they may have to move quickly, because Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that Williams is the “top target” for the Phoenix Suns, who fired head coach Igor Kokoskov in large part because they reportedly want to be able to compete with the Lakers for Williams.
The Lakers may decide after this second interview that they aren’t that desperate to hire Williams, who also may want to wait to see if the Philadelphia 76ers fire head coach Brett Brown.
If Williams decides to wait, the Lakers may be able to remain slow and methodical as they survey the field, but if Williams wants to get a deal done quickly and Pelinka, Rambis, Buss and Co. want him, they may have to be ready to move fast so that the Suns aren’t able to get their first ever meaningful win over the Lakers.