With Luke Walton Out, Here’s Frontrunner For Lakers Head Coaching Job

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

What had always been speculated became a reality Friday afternoon when Luke Walton was relieved of his duties as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Walton finished his third season as head coach with a frustrating and disappointing 37-45 record in a season that began with massive expectations after LeBron James' arrival.

Head coach Luke Walton of the Los Angeles Lakers during the National Basketball Association game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on October 24, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.

"We would like to thank Luke for his dedicated service over the last three years", said Pelinka.

A move to Sacramento then, with its young, raw roster, may be a better fit for Walton heading forward.

Walton was hired by the Lakers in 2016 after Byron Scott piloted the iconic franchise to its worst season ever, a 17-65 train wreck in Kobe Bryant's final season. "They did everything right, I'll say that".

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"Want to thank Luke and the rest of the coaching staff for allowing me to be me from day 1", Kuzma tweeted.

Skeptics wondered what Kings general manager Vlade Divac was thinking when he fired coach Dave Joerger on Thursday after he led the team to its best season in more than a decade.

Kerr strongly endorsed Walton on Friday after the Lakers announced he would not return next season. Luckily for Kerr, the state of the Warriors is the polar opposite of that of the Lakers. At one point, Pelinka sat in on coaches' meetings, involving himself at a granular level in Walton's workload.

James and the Lakers' players have been uniformly supportive of Walton, who managed to keep his team playing hard and harmoniously under the Los Angeles microscope despite multiple major injuries and distractions.

Walton is rumored to be a candidate for the Sacramento Kings head coaching job immediately following the end of his tenure with the Lakers.

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