The Lakers will interview Monty Williams next week between games two and three of their first-round matchup against the Brooklyn Nets, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Lakers management plans to travel East to meet with Sixers assistant Monty Williams between Games 2 and 3 of playoff series with Brooklyn, league sources tell ESPN. Williams has emerged as a top candidate for Lakers coaching job.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 14, 2019
Original story follows:
The Los Angeles Lakers’ search for a new head coach is officially underway. After parting ways with Luke Walton and seeing him quickly get snatched up by the Sacramento Kings for the same position, the Lakers are reaching out to potential candidates.
The first candidate they are reaching out to will be Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Lakers have been granted permission to meet and discuss head coaching job with 76ers assistant Monty Williams, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 13, 2019
Wojnarowski also adds that the Lakers will either begin with a phone conversation or Lakers officials will fly East to meet with Williams, as the Sixers are currently in a playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets.
Williams spent five years as an assistant with the Portland Trail Blazers before becoming the head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans from 2010 to 2015. Williams was then an associate head coach but was not retained, later becoming an assistant coach in Philadelphia this season.
The Pelicans made the playoffs twice in five seasons under Williams, losing in the first round both times.
The obvious link here is that Williams has history coaching Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis, who the Lakers were hot after before the NBA trade deadline back in February. The Lakers will likely try to pursue a trade for Davis once again this summer, and if they strike out again, they could potentially pursue him as an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020.
If Williams was hired, the Lakers would also have a link to soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Jimmy Butler, who has spent this season with the Sixers.
This is just the first step in the process of hiring a new head coach. The Lakers will certainly reach out to other candidates, but the process has begun with general manager Rob Pelinka leading the way. What does that mean exactly? Only time will tell.
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