Since Luke Walton was hired as the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, the topic of conversation has shifted to who will be added to the current Golden State Warriors’ assistant’s staff. There may be some clarity on that subject, soon.
The presumptive favorite to land a job on the new staff has been Brian Shaw. Shaw is a former Lakers player and coached for several years under Phil Jackson. Since then, he has been an assistant in Indiana in addition to having an unsuccessful tenure as the head coach of the Denver Nuggets.
Shaw spoke to Bill Oram of the OC Register and confirmed that he has a standing offer from the Lakers to join the staff but acknowledged that he has not yet made a decision:
“I have some decisions to make fairly shortly,” Shaw told the Southern California News Group on Wednesday night after the Warriors beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals.
“I have an offer and I have some options,” Shaw said.
It was reported earlier on Wednesday by David Aldridge that Shaw was also being pursued by new Pacers head coach Nate McMillan for a similar position.
However, what seems to be the largest obstacle in Shaw’s way is more of a personal choice. As Oram reports, Shaw’s family lives in Oakland and the coach admitted that he would like to find some stability and to be around his kids as they grow up.
What makes this more interesting is that the Warriors will now have an opening on the coaching staff with Walton’s departure. Shaw admitted that he had reached out to Steve Kerr last summer in hopes of replacing current Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry, but Kerr had chosen to promote Walton.
Shaw seems to still be interested in finding a job with the Warriors but that may be difficult to do at the moment with the team still fighting to repeat as champions.
“I’ve been present,” Shaw said. “I’ve been around, there’s openings here, but right now that’s the last thing on Steve Kerr’s mind.
“By the time he gets around to that, all the other spots will probably be filled so you’ve got to take that leap of faith that things will work out the way you want them to work out.”
The last part of that quote seems to signify that Shaw may be seriously considering joining the Lakers’ staff. It seems apparent that he wants to be back on the sidelines soon and that he is willing to take a risk if he believes it is necessary.
However, he likely does not have to take that “leap of faith” just yet. The Lakers are being very deliberate in how they approach the makeup of the coaching staff based in part on waiting to see the available coaches once head coach positions across the league are filled. More importantly, it is difficult to come to a conclusion on those targets while Walton is still busy and working with the Warriors.
In that sense, Shaw has time to wait until the Warriors are either back-to-back champions or eliminated prematurely before discussing the open positions with both Kerr and Walton. It is fair to point out, however, that the Lakers may want some coaching representation available as they begin to schedule workouts with draft prospects.
At this point, I would lean towards believing that Shaw will take the offer from the Lakers, especially with Walton having shown interest so early in the process. However, if Kerr prefers to hire Shaw rather than promote someone like Jarron Collins, then it makes all the sense in the world for him to stay in the Bay Area.
While there is clarity gained from Shaw’s confirmation of an offer from the Lakers, the actual formation of the coaching staff seems to be as cloudy as ever. In a month, however, there should be much more movement in that respect.