Fallout From Failed Negotiations Between Lakers, Lue

Contract length was the main point of contention that prevented Tyronn Lue from becoming the Lakers’ next coach, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. L.A. was offering Lue $18MM over three years, which would line up with LeBron James‘ remaining commitment to the team. Lue was “insulted” that the Lakers viewed him as just a coach for LeBron and was seeking a five-year deal.

A source tells Shelburne that GM Rob Pelinka didn’t believe negotiations would collapse because Lue doesn’t have interest from any other teams (Twitter link). However, the Cavaliers still owe Lue about $10MM and he didn’t want to risk losing money by taking an offer that he considered below his market value. He also believes his experience coaching at a championship level warrants a longer commitment.

There’s more this morning on the Lue situation:

  • Talks also broke down because of the Lakers’ insistence on having the final say on Lue’s assistant coaches, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times. Lue was willing to make former Pacers and Magic head coach Frank Vogel his top assistant, sources tell Stein, but management wanted him to put Jason Kidd on the staff as well after he performed well in an interview. Stein also reports that two advisers to Lakers owner Jeanie Buss feared that the team would be giving James too much power by hiring Lue.
  • Former Lakers player Kurt Rambis, who now serves as an adviser, has expanded his power in the organization and is playing a critical role in the coaching search, relays Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
  • Buss made a mistake by letting Pelinka assume too much power after team president Magic Johnson resigned, contends Bill Oram of The Athletic. Lue was the only available candidate who has experience coaching James and was willing to sign up for another round, Oram notes, and Pelinka couldn’t get a deal done. He states that Buss should have found someone to serve as president of basketball operations and let him hire a GM and conduct the coaching search. Instead, she trusted the organization to Kobe Bryant‘s former agent.
  • The new coaching candidates — Vogel, Mike Woodson and Lionel Hollins, won’t inspire Lakers fans or help to satisfy James, who has just two years left before he can opt out of his contract, Oram adds. He also wonders how much ineptitude James is willing to put up with before he demands to be traded to a better-run organization.
  • Lue’s plans for the Lakers would have looked very similar to how he utilized James in Cleveland, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Lue believes LeBron is most effective in a structured offense where he has an order of options to follow depending on how the defense reacts. Under Luke Walton, the Lakers used more of a random approach where four players had the option to push the ball up court, while the others were instructed to fill lanes on the fast break. Lue told management he would have arranged the minutes for James and Brandon Ingram so that one was always on the court.
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14 thoughts on “Fallout From Failed Negotiations Between Lakers, Lue

  1. raisethejollyroger

    This is the best thing that could have happened. Facts are Lue was just for a Lebron and the article says it all with the statement that there are no other offers for Lue! What does that tell ya? None of the other candidates are strong either but Lue couldn’t coach my high school. Some say the Lakers are arrogant, maybe but I’d 16 titles regardless how long it’s been since they’ve been in the playoffs give you that equity.

    • southbeachbully

      That’s disrespectful. Lue was a great assistant coach and in his 4 years as a head coach has 4 finals to show for it. He is NOT the only coach that had the benefit of a HOF player. To say he can “only coach” a LBJ team is an insult but here’s the thing…..HE WOULD BE COACHING LEBRON JAMES WHICH IS THE WHOLE POINT!!!!

      I mean how stupid is that thinking? “Oh he can only successfully coach a team with LBJ on it”. Well….LBJ is there to be coached. Stupid. Sign him to a 5 year deal and fire him 5 seconds after LBJ is no longing a Laker and eat the remaining years. Teams do it all the time. The idea is not to give in to every whim of LBJ but when it comes to moves that are mutually beneficial ON THE COURT you absolutely do so.

      Also, why are people acting as if LBJ/Lue means domination of the entire organization? What influence, other than perhaps play-time and X’s and O’s, would LBJ have with the addition of Lue? Rob is the GM and in charge of player acquisition. So long as they don’t sign Klutch players who get over-market contracts (see Tristan Thompson, JR Smith and Kentavious Pope) then he has ZERO power to force Pelinka’s hand. They will have a team president and then you have Buss as the owner. What power does LBJ get if he had Lue as a coach? Both LBJ and Lue are on the same page as how a LBJ led team should look. Why is that a bad thing? Their connection led to 4 NBA finals.

      I swear, I feel like there’s too many factions involved and honestly, it has nothing to do with LBJ. What can he dictate to anyone? Is it not in the Lakers best interest and the GM in particular to try and put on court the best players to try and win with LBJ?

      Kobe/Pelinka vs Magic vs Buss/Rambis/Others vs Laker’s legacy <——-that's the problem.

  2. Jason Lancaster

    I like how the Lakers interviewed Kidd as a favor to someone’s agent, and now they keep trying to jam him onto the staff.

    The guy is a known alcoholic, allergic to analytics… Bad choice.

  3. BloodySox

    Why does Lue care about length? They could sign him for 20 and cut him after 1.

    • jorge78

      Because being paid to not coach after Lebron leaves is the icing on the cake!
      The Cavs are paying him not to coach now…..

    • southbeachbully

      I think length was an issue because it might infer that he’s only good enough to coach LBJ. More so, I think he saw a set up coming. Forcing two former head coaches on his coaching staff, especially one that Pelinka and Kurt Rambis (rambis????) liked so much like Kidd, was a set up. Also, just the same way that Lue was perceived as “LBJ’s boy” the same case could be said if Kidd were hired to be Lue’s assistant coach. You know darn well that as soon as they have an opportunity to dump Lue they would and swap in Kidd. I think ever head coach wants to have a staff that fundamentaly buy into the head coaches leadership. If Pelinka and Rambis have an issue with on-court decisions they would have an in a “inside guy” in Kidd that they can use to influence Lue and I think that would be a difficult situation.

      Agents swear they can do a better job than most Gms. I think Pelinka needed to go and rebuild it from there.

    • bowserhound

      Should’ve offered him 3/yr $18m or 5yr/15m. There’s your length buddy.

  4. Worzelmangel

    Kurt Rambis expanding his power and playing a critical role in anything should make Lakers fans feel really good about the direction of the team… I just hope he doesn’t have any power over the official Twitter account…

  5. Skip, Tampa

    Time to clean the slate and start over from scratch, period.
    Fire Pelinka first thing.
    Move the Rambis family back to friend status.
    Fly West and Riley in for dinner and direction for a President.
    Hire said President and give them close to total control.
    Hire the GM they want on staff.
    Go find a new coach even if that takes till August to get done.
    Only question is if the owners have the insight and fortitude to pull off a set of moves like this for the long haul ?

    • imindless

      What exactly has pat riley done in his time as a gm? Sign hall mark hall of fame caliber players? Besides dwade who has he drafted thats turned out good? They play in the east man and still struggle to make playoffs. He isnt that great of a gm tbh and i think lakers woes are overstated as peoples opinions more than facts.

      Bottomline magic wasn’t good at his job and was getting lakers in trouble and so they let him quit instead of being fired. Also besides not being able to sign stars what has this group done wrong they have drafted decent especially in later rounds see hart, kuzma, wagner, zubac, bryant. Walton also was a hangover from previous regime….this will be their first true hire.

  6. Guest617

    lakers were doing fine last year – walton had the young crew buy into his system and they were trending up. sadly magic’s not part of the process

  7. madmanTX

    Wonder if LeBron is gonna hope for Durant to go east so he can wrangle a trade to Golden State?

  8. x%sure

    Such a juicy topic! Good write, but at this point they’re probably all good.

    They should wait on their HC to offer it as an atraction for a quality FA to influence. Anyway things need to settle down first. Any decision now would be rash.

    Given Lue’s style, of providing options to star players… If I were a top FA, I would like to see Lue as coach.

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