If you thought that the Los Angeles Lakers are done with their organizational shakeup, think again. Three days after Magic Johnson stepped as Lakers’ president of basketball operations, the team announced that they have mutually parted ways with head coach Luke Walton.
“We would like to thank Luke for his dedicated service over the last three years,” – said Lakers’ GM Rob Pelinka in a team statement. “We wish Luke and his family the best of luck moving forward.”
Walton leaves the Lakers after a disappointing season in which he led the team to 37-45 record and extended the franchise’s postseason drought to six seasons. The 39-year-old posted 98-148 record during his three seasons long tenure as the team’s head coach.
“I want to thank Jeanie Buss and the Buss family for giving me the opportunity to coach the Lakers,” – said Walton in a statement. “This franchise and the city will always be special to me and my family.”
According to sources close to the situation, Los Angeles Lakers are considering several names as a potential replacement for Luke Walton, but former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue and Philadelphia 76ers’ assistant coach Monty Williams emerged as the most favored candidates.
Lue, who left Cavs early in the season, has good chances of landing the job due to the fact that he previously coached team’s biggest star LeBron James to an NBA title in Cleveland. He also has connections with the franchise, having played for the Lakers between 1998 and 2001.
Williams, on the other side, is a well-respected name in NBA circles and has previously served as a head coach with New Orleans Pelicans between 2010 and 2015.