With Luke Walton Out, Here’s Frontrunner For Lakers Head Coaching Job

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton gestures during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, in Los Angeles.

The whirlwind week of change continued for the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday as the organization parted ways with head coach Luke Walton.

LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers previous year to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 47-year-old Williams appears to be a hot commodity this year in coaching searches, as he was also a rumored target for the new Kings coach opening.

"We would like to thank Luke for his dedicated service over the last three years".

A move to Sacramento then, with its young, raw roster, may be a better fit for Walton heading forward.

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Two reports say the Lakers are starting the process with the two names that quickly surfaced after - actually, before - Walton was gone: Tyronn Lue and Monty Williams.

Walton joined the Lakers with fanfare in 2016 after his successful tenure alongside coach Steve Kerr with the powerhouse Warriors.

Walton replaces Dave Joerger, who was sacked on Thursday after he compiled a record of 98-148 with the Kings. But at that time, Walton didn't even interview with the Kings.

The Lakers finished 10th in the Western Conference with a record of 37-45, more than 10 wins short of what they were projected for in the beginning of the season. The Hall of Fame point guard was upset with the team's defense and sluggish start but later told the Los Angeles Times and ESPN that Walton would not be fired barring something unforeseen. Ball wearing Big Baller Brand shoes prompted the Lakers to ask him if they contributed to his ankle issues. L.A. was just 17-31 the rest of the way as James missed 17 games and was in and out of the lineup until he was shut down for the season in late March. The current Lakers were the franchise's most successful team since their playoff drought began in 2013, but it wasn't enough to save Walton's job.

Rondo, who is on the sixth team of his career, praised Walton for his ability to relate to players. "They did everything right, I'll say that".

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