The Los Angeles Lakers coaching search is heating up, and one of their primary targets could become available in the coming days following his team’s ejection from the playoffs.
Rumor has it that the Lakers have a strong interest in Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder, and aren’t deterred by the fact that the Jazz just succumbed to the Dallas Mavericks in a six-game series.
According to Mark Stein in his recent newsletter, the Lakers are considered to be extremely interested in hiring Snyder should he choose to end his tenure in Salt Lake City.
“The Lakers’ interest in Snyder as a successor to Frank Vogel is serious, sources say. There is nonetheless ongoing skepticism in coaching circles that Snyder would want to move from Utah — where he has enjoyed a considerable amount of control and influence — to take over the LeBron James-led Lakers in their current state after the never-ending chaos that engulfed Vogel’s last two seasons. Vogel, remember, wasn’t allowed to choose any of his primary assistant coaches and had to take constant input from Lakers’ front office adviser Kurt Rambis,” Stein wrote.
Snyder does fit the bill of what the Lakers are looking for, though, as he boasts a winning record of 372-264 during his time with the Jazz, and is known to be inventive and modern in his approach to the game. But most importantly, Snyder favors a high-paced offense that appeases the crowd, and that will go down well with the Lakers fanbase.
Lakers Have Other Candidates to Pursue
Snyder isn’t the only coaching candidate the Lakers have their eyes on. Sure, the Jazz coach ranks number one on their list according to most reports, but there is a large swell of support for Mark Jackson to be considered for the job too.
Former players Shaquille O’Neal and JR Smith have both come out in support of Jackson in recent days, as the former Golden State Warriors coach still holds a big reputation for the foundations he instilled into the San Francisco-based team that helped them develop into a dynasty.
There’s also the former championship-winning coach Phil Jackson, who has been endorsed by former Laker Lamar Odom, however, the Triangle-loving coach is already in his mid-70s and wouldn’t provide the stability the franchise currently needs as it looks to bounce back from an awful year.
There’s More to Fix Than Just Coaching
It’s safe to assume that any roster moves will be kept on hold until a new head coach is instilled, primarily because that coach will have their own ideas on the current players, and may find a use for some that struggled under the old regime.
Of course, the first name that comes to everybody’s minds is Russell Westbrook, who is widely considered to be on his way out of Los Angeles, and that may still be true, but if a new coach feels like they can get the best out of the star guard, it may be in everybody’s interest to give it a try.
Malik Monk and Carmelo Anthony are two other candidates to leave in free agency, both of whom bring their own value to a contending roster. Of course, the Lakers do need fresh blood, ideally youthful blood, and certain concessions will need to be made as the team continues to rebuild their rotation.
We won’t get a full picture of how this Lakers team could shape up until the front office has settled on a new head coach, and if they’re waiting to see what happens with Snyder in Utah, then it could be a couple more weeks before we get any tangible update on the matter.