The Lakers don’t want their search for a new coach to be a prolonged one and hope to have their new hire in place prior to the NBA draft in June, writes Bill Oram of The Orange County Register. “We’re looking to have a big offseason,” GM Mitch Kupchak said. “It would be nice to have our staff in place during the draft and certainly when July 1st [when teams can begin negotiating with free agents] rolls around.” The executive also expressed hope for a quick turnaround in fortune for the franchise, Oram adds. “We feel we’re positioned well as an organization to quickly be in a different position a year from now,” Kupchak said. “Does that mean 50 or 55 [wins]? I don’t know. … But I do feel we can make great progress.”
Here’s more from L.A.:
- The Clippers‘ playoff hopes took a major blow today with the team announcing that point guard Chris Paul and power forward Blake Griffin would likely miss the remainder of the postseason. Paul underwent surgery on his right hand this morning and will be re-evaluated in four to six weeks after fracturing his hand during Monday night’s game, while Griffin is dealing with a left quad injury and is done for the year.
- Luke Walton, who is rumored to be a favorite for the vacant Lakers coaching post, reiterated his love for being with the Warriors and his focus on the playoffs when asked about potentially coming to Los Angeles next season, as Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group relays. “I love my job here,” Walton said. “I absolutely love it. I love the playoff battles that we’re in right now. We’ve got prep work to do. Every bit of focus right now should be on the playoffs. So any questions I’m asked about anything else is a distraction in my opinion, and then I’m being selfish. So I’m not answering anything about anything except for our team and the playoffs.”
- Former Knicks coach Derek Fisher has expressed interest in the Lakers coaching position, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com relays (ESPN Now link). Fired by the Knicks in February, Fisher’s record in a season and a half with New York was 40-96.
- Clippers small forward Paul Pierce is adjusting to limited minutes during the postseason but understands his true value as a veteran is to provide leadership, writes Dan Woike of The Orange County Register.