The Lakers coaching search has been slow, methodical, and uneventful. While the team has interviewed a handful of prospects, none of the candidates have been given a serious look, with none of the interviews more than a preliminary meeting. USA Today writer Sam Amick is reporting that the Lakers delay in hiring a coach may be a strategy to lure superstar free agents this summer.
The slow pace of the Lakers’ coaching search that began April 30 when Mike D’Antoni resigned has been timed deliberately with the upcoming free agency period in the NBA, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. Specifically, the idea that the Lakers could beat the odds and land the likes of the Heat’s LeBron James, the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony or any of the other superstars who may be free agents on July 1 has led the Lakers to plod through their process so as to not limit their potential options.
Essentially, the Lakers are holding off on hiring a coach in order to use it as a recruiting ploy to free agents like James, Anthony, Dwyane Wade, or Chris Bosh. The strategy would offer another unique advantage to the Lakers, who can offer both a max contract and the spotlight of Los Angeles on top of handpicking a coach for the future.
As is, the Lakers only have Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash taking up the significant portion of a next season’s payroll. Despite Bryant’s controversial contract extension, the Lakers still have lots of cap room to work with, including the option to offer a max contract to the likes of the big name superstars.