NBA Rumors Round-Up

NBA Rumors: Lakers Start Interviewing Coaching Candidates

A look at the latest coaching news from across the league, including updates on the Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Yannis Koutroupis profile picture
Updated 1 year ago on

4 min read

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Lakers start interviewing

Via Twitter

It’s not surprising to see these two candidates be among the first interviews considering their history with the organization. Dunleavy replaced Pat Riley in the early 90s and left the organization in good standing, while Scott is a former Laker champion from the Showtime era who has two Finals appearances as a head coach on his resume and a strong relationship with Lakers star Kobe Bryant. Bryant, however, also has a good relationship with Dunleavy, who nearly lured him away to play for the Clippers when he was a free agent years ago.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has made it clear that the Lakers are in no hurry to make a decision, but with the lottery completed and their draft position known, the process can start progressing a bit. Expect more names to come out in the coming weeks, with a coach likely in place prior to the draft.

Cavaliers looking towards NCAA ranks

Via Twitter

This goes along with reports that the Cavaliers have been in contact with UConn head coach Kevin Ollie and Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo, although both candidates appear to be unobtainable. Ollie just inked a five-year extension that doubled his salary and has him putting off any NBA head coaching aspirations for now, while Izzo has never shown much interest in making the jump. He turned down the Cavaliers in 2010. Kentucky’s John Calipari and Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg are the other two most popular candidates from the college ranks, but may not be any more interested than Ollie and Izzo. Hiring Calipari sure would play well with the LeBron James returning to Cleveland storyline, though.

Speaking of James, the Cavaliers could go after HEAT assistant David Fizdale, who has become a favorite of James. According to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel, though, they have yet to contact him. Fizdale would have to get permission from the HEAT to interview in season and could prefer to wait until the season is over to do so. If the Cavaliers hire him it would only increase their chances of getting James back, although that possibility seems driven more by fantasy than reality.

Grizzlies open to Joerger leaving

Via Twitter

It’s still unclear what is going on in Memphis, but the issues there run deep and it looks Joerger’s days are coming to an end. The news that he had been granted to talk to Minnesota about their head coaching vacancy came seemingly hours after their interim head of basketball operations Chris Wallace repeated he was going to be their coach moving forward. In a radio interview on the Chris Vernon show Wallace claimed it was a unique situation because Joerger’s family is from Minnesota, but rumors of both sides seeking a break up are carrying more weight.

The Grizzlies parted ways with CEO Jason Levien and assistant general manager Stu Lash earlier this week. The spotlight is starting to shine bright on majority owner Robert Pera, who is losing the confidence of the Grizzlies faithful by the second. The only way he can come out of this looking good is by upgrading in the front office and on the sidelines if Joerger indeed leaves for Minnesota. He may have to get his co-owners to dig deeper into their pockets than they originally planned to, but it’s the only way to prevent becoming the league’s most scrutinized (non-banned) owner.

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Yannis Koutroupis is Basketball Insiders' Managing Site Editor and Senior Writer. He has been covering the NBA and NCAA for seven years.

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