despite-rumors,-don’t-expect-tyronn-lue,-jason-kidd-to-be-lakers’-next-head-coach

Despite rumors, don’t expect Tyronn Lue, Jason Kidd to be Lakers’ next head coach

Sports

Los Angeles Clippers v Los Angeles Lakers

Darvin Ham has been fired as Lakers coach, in part because the players didn’t buy into his adjustments and teaching methods, in part as a scapegoat to cover some poor roster construction decisions in recent years (GM Rob Pelinka cleaned those up as well as he could, but the damage was never completely undone). The Lakers have been through six coaches in the 13 seasons since Phil Jackson left the team, who is next up for one of the premiere but toughest jobs in the league?

Not Tyronn Lue or Jason Kidd. Or, at least, it’s highly unlikely, despite their names popping up in rumors.

The reason is simple: Both are under contract for one more year with their respective teams and are not about to be fired, which is something Marc Stein wrote about in his newsletter. In fact, both the Clippers and Mavericks are looking to extend their coach beyond this year.

“Like I said, I want to be here. Hopefully, we’re able to solidify that…” Lue said when asked about the Lakers rumors following the Clippers’ elimination from the playoffs by Kidd’s Mavericks. “I didn’t come in to bounce around, go all over the place. [Clippers owner, management] all been great to me. Just having a great relationship with the owner, with the front office. It’s great. I would love to be here longterm.”

Kidd is expected to be offered and sign a contract extension to stay in Dallas with Luka Doncic and a contending team, Stein reported.

Even if one of those coaches went to their respective teams and said they wanted to walk away — which, to be clear, neither has done, this is just a hypothetical — the Clippers and Mavericks will still have the coach under contract and would not let him walk out the door to a conference rival. In theory, the Lakers could try to trade for one of those coaches, but even if the Clippers/Mavericks didn’t hang up on the call, the price would be a couple of first-round picks. In the case of the Lakers, they need those picks more to retool the talent around LeBron James and Anthony Davis than land a coach.

What Lue and Kidd have in common is ties to LeBron, who is expected to opt out of the $51.4 million final year of his contract with Los Angeles. The Lakers desperately want to keep him — and most around the league expect he will re-sign in Los Angeles — and part of that is bringing in a coach he wants. Knowing that, it’s not a surprise that the names were at least leaked — it’s a sign the Lakers are looking and trying, even if the results are unrealistic.

Other names mentioned as possible Lakers coaches include former NBA head coaches Mike Budenholzer — who won a championship with the Bucks — and Kenny Atkinson. There certainly will be others.

Just don’t expect a team to hand their star coach over to the Lakers.