The Los Angeles Lakers’ head coaching search is officially down to one — and the team is planning on offering the job to Tyronn Lue in the imminent future:
The Lakers are proceeding toward an offer to Ty Lue in the coming days, and have no plans to introduce new candidates into the head coaching search process, league sources tell @ramonashelburne and me.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 3, 2019
Lue and Monty Williams were the top two candidates for the Lakers all along, and with Williams heading to Phoenix, Lue is the logical choice and also the preferred candidate of LeBron James, who remains under contract for at least another two seasons in Los Angeles.
The Lakers have reportedly been on their own timetable throughout the search, but the Suns may have forced their hand by taking Williams off the board (even if now there have been suggestions that Lue was always the top option.) Still, the fact that the team hasn’t immediately presented the job to Lue suggests that they are still trying to retain control of the process.
Despite some indications that the Lakers might expand their search beyond the original three candidates — no, Jason Kidd doesn’t count — this report officially puts those rumors to rest. The ‘most expansive’ Lakers head coaching search in a decade still only included a former Laker, a former Michigan man, and Williams, who ultimately decided against the job.
Lue may have become the default option for Los Angeles, but that shouldn’t obscure the fact that he could be an excellent head coach for the team. He has demonstrated significant interest in the job (though appropriately, only once it became available), to the point where he has already started exploring how to fill out his bench of assistant coaches. And he also brings a championship pedigree to the Lakers, both as a coach and a player.
The last time the Lakers made a major hiring, it took place over the course of essentially one morning and ended disastrously. The team did its due diligence this time around, and it appears to have resolved itself in a happy and sensible outcome.