Luke Walton’s job has come into question a lot this season but the Los Angeles Lakers have mostly stood by their head coach. Nevertheless, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that this could be Walton’s last season on the job.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (appearing on the Rich Eisen Show), several NBA executives and agents believe the Lakers will fire Walton and already have their eyes on his successor.
“Whatever you want to say about LaVar Ball, he has smoked out the fact that the Lakers do not support Luke Walton. And that is now crystal clear.
“And there are now guys out there wondering openly to me—executives, coaches, agents—who the Lakers are going to hire as their next coach.
“Because that has been revealed here: That they do not have unconditional support for Luke.” […]
“I got executives in my ear, I got agents in my ear, saying, ‘Oh yeah, they’re probably going to hire David Fizdale.’”
Recent reports have indicated that Walton’s job is safe but it’s easy to see the logic here.
The Lakers are planning on signing two star free agents this summer and their main target is LeBron James. James, who would already be making a risk by joining such a young team, would potentially want a more established head coach and he and Fizdale have a relationship dating back to their Miami Heat days. It’s also important to remember that Windhorst is more connected to LeBron’s camp than any other reporter in the NBA.
Meanwhile, this rumor is the latest in a long line of reports about the future of the team, its roster, and its coaches, something that many members of the organization have admitted is lingering over them as the season continues.
Fizdale was surprisingly fired by Memphis Grizzlies earlier this season, potentially after a falling out with Marc Gasol. He could theoretically be asked to join the team as an assistant coach, a role in which he thrived in Miami.