The post-Luke Walton era is here for the Lakers. According to the Los Angeles Times, the three coaches they plan to interview this week are Juwan Howard, Monty Williams, and Ty Lue. Not exactly game-changing names, but that is the reality for the Lakers right now.
Here is a ranking of those three candidates:
There is a question here of whether or not the Lakers can even get Monty Williams. Williams should have several suitors and no head coaching position comes with more pressure and downside than the Lakers do. Willimas knows LeBron James from their time with Team USA but is not as familiar with him as the next two coaches. Given the difficulties of being LeBron’s coach at this point, Williams would be wise to look elsewhere. As for the Lakers’ side of this, Williams wasn’t all that impressive when he was a head coach in New Orleans. Gut feeling, this wouldn’t be a great pairing. But again, they can’t be too choosey.
The Lakers and Juwan Howard would be an intriguing match. While it would be a risk bringing in someone that has never been a head coach this late in LeBron’s career, Howard is no stranger to those he would have to put up with. Not only did Howard play with LeBron in Miami, but also with general manager Rob Pelinka (who may or may not stay with LA) at Michigan. He comes across as a strong leader when he speaks and emerged out of nowhere as the betting favorite for this job on April 2.
Ty Lue is the best option for the Lakers simply because of, well, LeBron. If anyone thinks Lue’s name is constantly being brought up for reasons other than being LeBron’s first choice, they are being fools. Lue is clearly not a splashy hire or someone that is going to join forces with the Lakers and alter the NBA for years to come. He is, however, the safest hire for them. At this point, out of the coaches the Lakers might have to settle for, he looks like the no-brainer pick.