Williams has already met with the Lakers, but it was reportedly just a one-on-one interview with general manager Rob Pelinka. This time around, Williams will be meeting with the team’s top decision makers and thanks to the latest report by Bill Oram and Sam Amick of The Athletic, we now have a better idea of who those people are.
According to their report, the Lakers will be sending a group that features Pelinka, team president and controlling owner Jeanie Buss and consultant Kurt Rambis:
The Lakers are sending a big contingent to Philadelphia today for Monty Williams' second interview, sources tell @sam_amick and me. Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss leading a group that also includes Joey Buss, Jesse Buss, Kurt and Linda Rambis, and COO Tim Harris.— Bill Oram (@billoram) April 25, 2019
That same group also interviewed Tyronn Lue and Juwan Howard earlier week, per Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times.
Jeanie’s brothers, Joey and Jesse Buss, will also be part of the decision making process after it was previously reported that they, along with Lakers director of player personnel Ryan West, had been shut out by the front office in recent years. Oram confirmed that report on Thursday:
Most interesting part of this is the younger Buss siblings getting looped in. Jesse has served as director of scouting while Joey has capably run the G League affiliate, but they have largely been excluded from Lakers basketball operations decisions up to now.— Bill Oram (@billoram) April 25, 2019
Williams has a busy couple days ahead of him, it would seem, with the Phoenix Suns getting involved:
Phoenix Suns officials will travel to Toronto to meet with the franchise’s top coaching candidate, Philadelphia assistant Monty Williams, on Friday, league sources tell ESPN. The Sixers play the Raptors in an Eastern Conference semifinal Game 1 on Saturday.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 25, 2019
Back to the point at hand; Jess and Ryan West (who wasn’t mentioned) have played a huge part in building the young core of players the Lakers have now, particularly their selections late in the draft like Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Larry Nance Jr., Ivica Zubac and Jordan Clarkson.
Meanwhile, Joey is responsible for the finding and developing gems like David Nwaba, Alex Caruso, Johnathan Williams and most recently Jemerrio Jones through the team’s farm system. If there’s one reason to be optimistic about this new regime going forward, it’s their involvement.
However, any sliver of hope for this front office is hindered by the inclusion of Kurt and Linda Rambis. While it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what Linda has done for and/or to the Lakers over the past few seasons, Kurt hasn’t enjoyed must success off of the basketball court in over a decade. His last stop before returning to Los Angeles was with the New York Knicks under Phil Jackson.
Still, it’s promising to see that Rob Pelinka isn’t the only person that will be making these decisions on behalf of the team, even if he will likely have the last word as the de facto president of basketball operations. It’s not a lot to work with, but it’s more than we had a few hours ago.