The Lakers have been on a slow search for a new coach, spending more than a month since Mike D’Antoni resigned on April 30. There were reports that the team was courting former player Derek Fisher, but they stopped pursuit and Fisher on Monday signed on to coach the New York Knicks.
Now rumors indicate that the Los Angeles Lakers may be taking the coaching search slowly on purpose so they can land a big superstar first, then use that to attract a big-name coaching candidate.
USA Today sports writer Sam Amick noted:
“Specifically, the idea that the Lakers could beat the odds and land the likes of the Heat’s LeBron James, the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony or any of the other superstars who may be free agents on July 1 has led the Lakers to plod through their process so as to not limit their potential options. The person spoke to USA Today Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the search.”
The Los Angeles Lakers rumor would seem to make sense. The team finished 27-55 last season, the worst record since the team moved to Los Angeles in 1960. Meanwhile their franchise player Kobe Bryant has been plagued with injuries, and will likely only have a season or maybe two to try to win another championship.
Many believe LeBron James will re-sign with the Miami Heat, but if the San Antonio Spurs can avenge last year’s NBA Finals and beat the Heat, he and fellow stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh may explore options elsewhere.
There is also a chance that the Lakers could land both LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. He and LeBron are very close, and Amick noted that sources believe the two stars could end up playing together.
“According to two people with knowledge of the situation, Anthony’s part in this fluid free agency situation is worth monitoring as James is known to be interested in eventually playing with his close friend. Anthony also has a player option on his deal for next season (worth $23.5 million), and his connection to James has teams like the Lakers, Knicks and even the Heat wondering whether he may be able to join the four-time NBA MVP. The people requested anonymity because of sensitive nature of free agency talk.”
It will take some time to see if the Los Angeles Lakers rumors pan out. LeBron James doesn’t become a free agent until July 1.