Los Angeles Lakers fans are anxious. Since the moment the season ended, they wanted swift changes. D’Antoni needed to be gone. A new coach, preferably a successful one, had to be hired. The roster needed overhauled. A superstar or a prime-time rookie needed to be brought in. But the Lakers, namely Mitch Kupchak, has preached patience. And as we stand, it seems like the Lakers are playing a game of wait and see.
In a piece from ESPNLA’s Dave McMenamin, his sources tell him the Lakers have not contacted any of the candidates they’ve rumored to be considering. Instead, their wait and see approach is likely to be played out for the foreseeable future.
First, the Lakers want to know how the draft lottery shakes out, not only for them, but for potential coaches. Landing a top 3 pick instantly makes the Lakers position all the more appealing. As McMenamin says, it’s not only the opportunity to draft an elite prospect like Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, or Jabari Parker, but it also opens up the possibility of the Lakers trading the pick for a proven superstar.
Next, Kupchak and Company could be holding out to use the coaching position as a recruiting tool for big-name free agents. Telling a free agent he can sign on the team and help hand pick a coach is a hell of pitch, one that few other teams in the league can make. Would it be enough to sway a LeBron James or Chris Bosh to LA? Who knows, but it’s certainly worth a shot.
The moral of the piece is that the Lakers are in no rush, regardless if their fan base is or not. With a pool of candidates as deep as can be, the Lakers will wait and see who wants to come to them and who fits their plans, a stark contrast to their last two coaching hires.