As we get closer to the June 26th NBA Draft, the head coaching search will continue to gain momentum, which has been apparent over the last two weeks with the first round of interviews completed.
Here are the candidates as of June 3: Byron Scott, Lionel Hollins, Mike Dunleavy, Alvin Gentry, George Karl, and Kurt Rambis.
While the list may be underwhelming to some, it is important to remember that the Lakers will continue to interview new candidates in the coming weeks before giving second interviews to finalists for the job.
On Monday, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne mentioned Larry Brown and Scott Skiles as possible coaches the Lakers were interested in talking to although Brown told Sam Amick of USA Today that he is not interested in the head coaching vacancy and is content at Southern Methodist University where he hopes to win a national championship.
As for former Laker Derek Fisher, Amick also reported that general manager Mitch Kupchak would like to have a conversation with the fan favorite to “gauge his interest and state of mind before deciding whether to interview him in person.” Fisher is considered the favorite for the New York Knicks head coaching job as Phil Jackson looks to bring him to the Big Apple.
Fisher commented about potentially coaching former teammate Kobe Bryant, “I hadn’t thought about that much. But when you’re brothers, you’re brothers, regardless of what capacity it’s in.”
Moving away from the coaching search, the Lakers do have the 7th pick in the upcoming draft and have plenty of prospects to choose from. On Wednesday, the team will hold two workouts for the following prospects:
Tyler Ennis (PG), Brendan Lane (PF), Marcus Smart (PG), Nik Stauskas (SG), Noah Vonleh (PF), James Young (SG), Aaron Gordon (PF), Gary Harris (SG), Rodney Hood (SF), Zach LaVine (PG/SG), Doug McDermott (SF), and Elfrid Payton (PG).
There are plenty of questions regarding who the team will draft as it could change the direction of the offseason for the Lakers. There are sure to be additional workouts leading up to the draft at the end of the month. Whether any coaching candidates have been asked about which player they would like to draft remains to be seen, but it is sure to have relevance as a coaching decision nears.