While many Lakers fans hope they’ve seen the last of Russell Westbrook in a Los Angeles uniform, the front office is proceeding as if Westbrook will remain a part of the team.
Head coaching candidates that the Lakers have interviewed have been asked to discuss how they would use the enigmatic point guard in their system, Sam Amick of The Athletic reports. It appears that maximizing Westbrook’s impact after his disastrous 2021/22 season is considered an important part of the job, Amick adds.
This could be an indication of Phil Jackson’s input on the Lakers’ search, since Jackson is known to have an affinity for Westbrook.
We have more from the Pacific Division:
- In the same story, Amick writes that Kings general manager Monte McNair is entering the final season of his contract and there have been no talks about a possible extension. That leads to an awkward situation with their new coach, Mike Brown, having a significantly longer deal (four years) than the GM who played a major role in hiring him. McNair’s contract status was a concern for some of the coaching candidates Sacramento interviewed, Amick adds.
- Among the priorities that the Kings established before hiring Brown was that the new coach would retain Doug Christie on the staff, Marc Stein reports in a Substack article. Sacramento is also hoping for an improvement mirroring the Timberwolves’ success with their young core to end a league-record 16-season playoff drought.
- Klutch Sports has many high-profile athletes as clients — they’ve also got another prominent coach now in the Clippers‘ Tyronn Lue. He’s signed up with the agency, Klutch tweets.