RUMOR: Tyronn Lue a candidate to replace Luke Walton as Lakers coach next year
On Thursday, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports joined Colin Cowherd on ‘The Herd’ to discuss various bits of NBA news. During the segment, the conversation turned to the Los Angeles Lakers head coaching position.
Many believe the Lakers will look to replace head coach Luke Walton this offseason. Their season has not gone as planned and has featured substantial drama between Walton and various players, including star offseason acquisition LeBron James.
Haynes suggested one interesting name could replace Walton with the Lakers: former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue.
Haynes: “Look, Colin, I’ll say this – any time a coach is changing the starting lineup late February, early March, that’s a problem. Luke Walton. That’s a problem. You don’t see that too often in the NBA. And so that lets you know there’s some real concerns with that team.”
Cowherd: “…Well, I mean, I will say this, and I’m not going to blame anybody for this. But I have a source who I trust and I think it’s 10% Luke Walton is the coach next year and 90% he’s not. I’ll say that, you react to it…it would take getting into the playoffs, knocking off a Denver, it would take things I don’t think this club is capable of.
Haynes: “I wouldn’t dismiss that.”
Cowherd: “If I said there’s another coach out there…do you have in mind another coach for the Lakers next year?
Haynes: “Well, obviously Tyronn Lue. I mean, LeBron James, the day Lue got fired LeBron James put a tweet out supporting him. ‘You know how to contact me if you need me.'”
Walton is in his second season coaching the Lakers. He was previously an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors, and their interim head coach in the start of the 2015-16 season.
Last season, many were happy with the chemistry between Walton and a struggling Lakers team. But the narrative has changed since James was signed.
Lue knows James from their time together with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Together, they won the championship in 2016, making Lue one of only a few rookie head coaches to win a title. However, after a pair of Finals losses the next two seasons and an 0-6 start this year, Lue was fired.
Entering Thursday, the Lakers were 30-31 and three games behind the Los Angeles Clippers for a playoff spot.