Golden State Warriors Assistant Luke Walton To Become Los Angeles Lakers’ Next Coach?

Will Luke Walton return to Los Angeles Lakers as their new head coach? [Photo: Wikimedia]
Will Luke Walton return to Los Angeles Lakers as their new head coach? [Photo: Wikimedia]
Luke Walton could become a prime candidate to succeed Byron Scott after Golden State Warriors allowed the assistant coach to talk to the Los Angeles Lakers about their coaching vacancy.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters that they have already informed Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak that Walton will be available for interview after their first-round series against the Rockets, which ended on Wednesday after Golden State ran away with a 114-81 win.

“We told Mitch that he’s perfectly welcome to talk to Luke as soon as the series is over and we have a little break,” Kerr said via ESPN, referring to their decision to allow Walton to talk to the Lakers.

The Lakers are searching for a new coach to replace Scott, who was fired after Los Angeles missed the playoff for the third consecutive season. The Lakers ended up with a measly 17-65 record — the worst record in franchise history, which eclipsed the then-worst 21-61 card last season.

Walton, who is a hot commodity after guiding the Warriors to a historic 24-0 start this season, has a close relationship with Kupchak after spending nine seasons with the Lakers as a player. It remains to be seen whether or not Walton is interested in coaching the Lakers, considering he is expected to get attention of several teams this summer.

Aside from Walton, the Lakers are also expected to sit down with San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ettore Mesina, USA Today reported. The veteran bench tactician also served as consultant for the Lakers in 2011 under then-coach Mike Brown.

Former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt, University of Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie and veteran coach Jeff Van Gundy are also reportedly being considered for the vacant coaching position.

Kupchak said earlier this week he expects the search for their new coach will not be a long process.

“I think it’s unlikely there will be anything done in the next week or two,” Kupchak said via ESPN. “But certainly I don’t anticipate this dragging into the summer. We’d like to get it done. We’re looking to have a big offseason. It would be nice to have our staff in place during the draft and certainly when July 1 rolls around.”