Lakers Reportedly Interested in Rick Carlisle as Potential Replacement for Luke Walton

by Leon Thompson March 31, 2019, 1:56
Lakers Reportedly Interested in Rick Carlisle as Potential Replacement for Luke Walton

LeBron James' first season with the Los Angeles Lakers effectively ended March 22, when the Lakers were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

So. who would the Lakers want to replace him if and when?

Walton's record as head coach of the Lakers over the past three seasons is 93-144, and that's not going to get it done for one of the most storied franchises in the National Basketball Association.

Former Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd has also expressed interest in the job, though it is not known if the feeling is mutual from the Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers announced on Saturday that James will sit for what has been a disappointing first season with the team.

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Kidd said he would be patient in the process and said he thought Walton had done an "incredible job" considering the Lakers' injuries and other distractions.

On sheer numbers, James had a fine season, averaging 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists in 55 games. Should the organization choose to move on from Walton at season's end, the combination of Lue's former LA ties, his relationship with James and his already established coaching pedigree could make him a highly desirable candidate.

Still, given the way the Lakers' attempted trades and star free agent signings have gone in the last several seasons, it seems possible that something will ultimately get in the way of Lue ending up in Los Angeles.

"I just view it as outside noise", Walton told The Athletic. "And so if you ever have the opportunity to wear the purple and gold, you can't turn that down". Kidd described the Lakers franchise as one of the best in the world. Those are things that I don't have the time to worry about. At this point, it would be a surprise not to see James in the crowd when Wade gets his farewell.

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