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Report: Lakers’ Luke Walton could be head coach candidate if Suns fire Igor Kokoskov

Luke Walton, Igor Kokoskov

If fired by the Los Angeles Lakers, head coach Luke Walton could arise as a “top potential candidate” to take the same position for the Phoenix Suns, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News.

The Phoenix Suns have yet to commit to bring first-year coach Igor Kokoskov back for next season, and with only 16 wins to his name following a season that saw them win 21 games in total, his job could be in the balance at the end of this season.

“He wants to stay in the game,” one league source with knowledge of the situation said of Walton. “For most front offices, I think you look at what he did in Golden State, what he did in LA before LeBron came, and you have to say he has a good, solid resume developing players, dealing with stars.

“Have to think Phoenix would jump on him, if everything falls into place, but he might get a better offer.”

Walton is largely viewed as the victim of a choice to bring LeBron James to town, one made by ownership and the front office, which came with plenty of ramifications.

Not only did Walton lose one of his best products in Julius Randle, but he also had little say in the additions the Lakers made over the offseason, as the front office brought on Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley and JaVale McGee as pieces around James that would fit his desires.

With a disjointed young core forced to take a step back in their development to fit around their new star, Walton’s job became suddenly that much tougher.

The Suns are still hoping to grow through their young core, making the former Arizona standout a likely replacement should Kokoskov walk out of that door.