The fan favorite and leading candidate, Luke Walton has been allowed to be interviewed by the Lakers for their HC vacancy. Luke has been considered the favorite to land the job due to his success leading the Warriors to a 39-4 record while Steve Kerr was gone with an injury. Although much of it had to do with talent on the team, them being the best team ever record wise, he did manage everything off the court because someone has to draw up the plays. Kerr did do a lot of behind the scenes coaching but it was Walton that led the team for the most part and now has a feel for the type of offense the Warriors run which is very ball movement oriented. Michael Lee of the Vertical reported that the Warriors have given Luke the green light:
Steve Kerr confirmed #lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has called to request an interview with Luke Walton for coaching vacancy once GSW series ends
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) April 28, 2016
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has called asking for permission to speak Luke Walton.Permission granted after series
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) April 28, 2016
This is great news for Lakers fans as he is widely considered to be the coach of the Lakers next year. Although still raw as a coach, Walton still has picked up a lot of information during his time with the Lakers as he sat on the bench next to a lot of informative basketball minds. Him being a former player also allows him to relate to players on that level.
It still remains to be seen how good of a recruiter he can be but he has a good reputation in the NBA with his success this year. Although still being a gamble, he is the type of risk the Lakers should take as he can develop alongside the young core.
Here is another update on other possible candidates, per a Marc Stein report:
Sources say the Lakers also plan to interview former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt and have strong interest in UConn coach Kevin Ollie. Ollie grew up a Laker fan in Southern California and has strong relationships from his playing days with stars known to interest L.A. in free agency this summer and beyond, such as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.