Report: Ettore Messina is front-runner if Lakers cannot lure away Luke Walton

The Los Angeles Lakers’ head coaching search is seemingly taking a very positive turn.

With most fans clamoring for former Lakers player and current Golden State Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton as the successor to Byron Scott, it seems that he might be the front-runner for the job. And in the event that he does not want to jump ship quite yet, the second place option is Spurs’ assistant Ettore Messina, at least according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.

The Lakers have already secured permission to interview Messina. Walton has spoken recently about focusing on the playoffs, so it may be a while before he accepts an actual interview. But with Stein adding that huge “if” in his tweet, there at least appears to be a great chance that Walton is interested in becoming the next head coach of the Lakers.

Walton’s value is probably at its peak with his phenomenal job leading the Warriors in Steve Kerr’s absence and great things spoken about him at every turn. It makes sense that he would try his shot at a head coaching gig, especially with his former team.

Messina, meanwhile, already has connections with LA, having worked under Mike Brown for one season. He has an incredible resume overseas and being Gregg Popovich’s top assistant will make him an incredibly intriguing target.

If this report is true, and Stein is one of the more trustworthy reporters out there, the Lakers really cannot go wrong. They can either go with the young, up-start assistant, a long-time member of the Lakers family who has shown promise as a potential head coach but will also be able to grow with the young roster. If not, they can go with the older and more experienced Messina, a highly respected coach who seems to be highly technically sound.

The Lakers were reportedly primarily looking for a free-agent recruiter in their coaching search. But this report suggests that they are looking for more than just that – they are choosing to hire a coach with upside, who has connections to the league, but has room to grow and develop as the young stars of the team do as well.

This is an incredibly positive sign for the Lakers. If they are indeed able to sign either of these two head coaches, they will be on the right path once again.

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