After a weekend that featured a birthday cake to celebrate Tyronn Lue taking the job with the Los Angeles Lakers, negotiations have hit an impasse and, according to Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times, the Lakers have moved on from Lue altogether.
Because of course.
The Lakers have decided to move on from Ty Lue as they search for their next head coach, having determined he isn't the right long-term fit for the organization, according to a team source.— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) May 8, 2019
Brad Turner (also of the L.A. Times) adds that the Lakers offered Lue less than he wanted:
Lue and his representatives declined the Lakers offer of 3-years, $18 million. Lue was seeking five years. per source.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) May 8, 2019
It was apparently not the first time the Lakers lowballed them:
Ty Lue and his reps turned down the Lakers’ offer Tuesday, per league sources. LAL regrouped with an offer in the range of 3 years, $18 million today. Lue’s side pulled out of negotiations. Lue’s camp seeking 5 year deal with salary commensurate with championship resume— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 8, 2019
As a result, they moved on:
Ty Lue and his representatives have informed the Lakers that he is moving on from trying to be hired as the Lakers' new coach, sources. Lue and his reps thanked the Lakers.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) May 8, 2019
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that Lue still being owed money by the Cavaliers complicated matters:
The Cleveland Cavaliers still owe Lue $10-plus million on his contract payout, and accepting a less-than-market-value deal from the Lakers could ultimately cost him money.
This is an absolutely shocking development in what had seemed like an otherwise hugely positive process involving even the potential hiring of exciting assistant coaches, and now appears to have broken down over a less exciting one.
It would seem as if the Lakers overplayed their hand with the only fully-qualified candidate they interviewed. Of course Lue would be uncomfortable with the Lakers forcing Jason Kidd on him. Kidd only forced out Larry Drew in Milwaukee, one of Lue’s close friends and top assistant during their time together in Cleveland — and has openly campaigned for the job Lue is interviewing for already. There is literally no reason for their to be trust there.
All that is worthy of criticism even without the idea that the Lakers might have low-balled Lue to any extent, which is most damning of all. The Lakers, a team that prints money, should not hesitate to offer the farm to the head coach of their choice. This is an awful look for a franchise that has legitimate questions about their commitment to winning given their skeleton-screw staff surrounding them.
Quite frankly, this is disastrous, especially when you consider who might be next on their list of preferred candidates. Maybe Juwan Howard has just been waiting for the opportunity to shine as a head coach, but this was a sure thing — a coach who could’ve united the front office and LeBron James’ camp in ways they haven’t been to this point.
And Jason Kidd? Man, let’s all just become Clippers fans.
As the Lakers move on to whoever might be their next list of candidates (now without Monty Williams, the new coach of the Phoenix Suns), we’ll keep you posted as best we can.