Report: Lakers Won’t Hire Coach Until They Know For Absolute Certain Tyronn Lue Won’t Be Available

According to NBA insider Anthony Irwin of Lakers Daily, the Los Angeles Lakers will not hire a new coach until they know for absolute certain that Tyronn Lue won’t be available.

NBA, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Tyronn Lue
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Lue has one year left on his contract with the Los Angeles Clippers. 

“Sources close to the situation have made it very clear that the Lakers are keeping a close eye on the talks between Lue and the Clippers,” Irwin wrote. “Don’t expect the Lakers to hire a head coach until they know for absolute certain Lue won’t be available.

“While league sources all expect Lue to remain with the Clippers, it’s definitely interesting that two sides haven’t come to an agreement now weeks after their season once again ended early in the playoffs. The longer that stalemate continues, the higher eyebrows will raise as everyone wonders what’s going on there.”

According to NBA insiders Shams Charania and Jovan Buha of The AthleticJJ Redick, James Borrego and Sam Cassell have emerged as the early top targets for the Lakers job. Los Angeles fired Darvin Ham after two seasons. 

The Lakers almost hired Lue in 2019 before going with Frank Vogel. 

“If Lue was available, it’d be done already,” said a source close to the Lakers. “They know they screwed that up a few years ago and would like to remedy that mistake. Problem is, the Clippers know the Lakers want Lue. So, on top of him being a good coach, [Steve] Ballmer doesn’t want to help the Lakers get better.”

David Adelman, Micah Nori and Chris Quinn are expected to be among the other candidates.

The Lakers, led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, lost to the Denver Nuggets in the first round of this year’s playoffs in five games. 

LeBron, who can become an unrestricted free agent this summer if he declines his 2024-25 player option, is expected to return to the Lakers. The leading scorer in NBA history won the 2016 championship with Lue on the Cleveland Cavaliers over the Golden State Warriors. 

The Lakers are seeking a coach who will command the locker room, hold players accountable, tirelessly gameplan and provide a level of structure. 

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