L.A. Notes: Lue, Lakers, Nance, Clippers

The Lakers are seemingly poised to make Tyronn Lue their new head coach, as his representatives and the team are expected to touch base today to try to get a deal done, tweets Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times.

According to Turner, Lue has been the Lakers’ top choice throughout the process. Although Monty Williams was in contention as well, Williams’ decision to accept the Suns’ job didn’t change the Lakers’ plans — it just made them decide to act now, tweets Tania Ganguli of The L.A. Times.

Selecting Lue as Luke Walton‘s replacement figures to inspire plenty of skepticism and snark, given his ties to LeBron James, but sources tell Joe Vardon of The Athletic (Twitter link) that neither James nor agent Rich Paul told the Lakers whom to hire. Of course, the fact that LeBron would welcome a reunion with Lue, as Vardon notes, was certainly a strong point in Lue’s favor, but the former Cavs coach also received an endorsement from Phil Jackson and impressed the Lakers with his X’s-and-O’s knowledge, tweets Turner.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two L.A. teams:

  • Responding to a report that Lakers GM Rob Pelinka assured him he wouldn’t be going anywhere before trading him to Cleveland, Larry Nance Jr. tweeted this week to say “that is not the case.” According to Nance, “Rob and I had and still have a great relationship.”
  • Sean Deveney of Sporting News takes an extended look at the Clippers‘ upcoming offseason, including exploring the team’s potential dream scenario: Signing both Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard in free agency this summer.
  • After his team dispatched the Clippers in the first round, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr raved about his opponents, suggesting it won’t be long before the Clips go from playoff upstart to bona fide contender. “I love their future,” Kerr told Jovan Buha of The Athletic. “I think it’s great for the league and I’m happy for their franchise.”
  • Earlier today, we broke down the Lakers‘ cap situation heading into the 2019 offseason.
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12 thoughts on “L.A. Notes: Lue, Lakers, Nance, Clippers

  1. LASTSON86

    Lets be real, the ONLY reason Lue is getting the job is Bc of his past with Lebron. Has nothing to do with his “coaching abilities” Lue let’s Lebron tell him what to do and that’s why Lebron loves him. Another stupid move by a drowning Lakers organization.

    • southbeachbully

      I disagree. I’ve numerous people say that Lue was unafraid to check LBJ like he would any other player. I don’t know where this idea came from that LBJ is uncoachable. Rather, he has a high basketball IQ and if he doesn’t respect the coaches wisdom then there’s a problem. I think LBJ respects Lue therefore he’s willing to defer to him. I don’t think LBJ wants to be seen as the oe calling the shots because it makes for a difficult locker room.

      I truly think that Magic quitting bothered LB because he saw him as a person he respected and was familair with. Lue is not the greatest coach in the NBA but I think he’s a good coach who, with experience, can become a much better coach.

      • kenleyfornia2

        Whoa thats too much logic. Doesnt fit the trolls narrarive of Lebron holding Lue like a puppett

  2. antsmith7

    I think Jimmy Butler was Lakers most realistic target, but now that PHI is winning I don’t even know if they will be able to get him.

    • Senioreditor

      2-3 losses for Philly and everything changes. Let’s all chill before we anoint them anything yet.

      • Not in this round, the dirty playing Raptors are done, maybe in the next with the Bucks, who knows?

  3. southbeachbully

    Is it accurate that the Lakers can’t really trade for a star caliber player NOT on a rookie contract because, other than LBJ, they don’t really have players that could match up salary cap wise with the anyone other than LBJ?

    • Luke Adams

      They could have $35MM+ in cap room, so they wouldn’t necessarily need to match salaries in a trade — they could just use their cap space to absorb salary.

      Even if they use up their cap room, then try to make a deal afterward, matching a star’s salary in a trade wouldn’t be impossible. It would depend on the star though, and would almost certainly mean losing both Ball and Ingram, since those are the only non-LeBron salaries worth more than $2MM-ish.

      Packaging Ball + Ingram would allow them to take back about $21MM. Adding various other pieces would increase that number a little. Packaging all of Ball, Ingram, Wagner, Kuzma, Hart, and Bonga would allow them to take back about $29.3MM.

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