Sports Out West

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak says draft may dictate coaching hire

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Reed Saxon

The Los Angeles Lakers will be in an interesting position this offseason as the team will be looking to hire their third head coach in the last four seasons.

Los Angeles needs stability at the position, which makes the job that much more important for organization’s front office to find the right person to take over the reigns. There are many viable candidates for the vacancy that include George Karl, Byron Scott, Lionel Hollins, Mark Jackson and possibly Tom Thibodeau.

With a wide field to choose from that will only get larger once the playoffs reach its conclusion, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak in an interview with Lakers reporter Mike Trudell on Monday alluded to upcoming draft next month possibly dictating what direction the team will head in regards to their next head coach.

“You do take into consideration the make up of your roster. Although I won’t rule out hiring a coach prior to the lottery on May 20, I think it’s likely that we don’t, because that’s really the first step in terms of additional information for this franchise. Let’s find out what kind of pick we have. That may even help us decide what direction to go with for our coach. It will be a consideration.”

This comes as no surprise as the player the Lakers will draft will likely be a major centerpiece of the franchise moving forward and the organization will need a head coach who can help develop the player while at the same time help the team achieve a high level of success.

We’ve seen, in the last year or two, coaches that you’d never think would be fired get fired despite their achievements and records. It’s really a cost of doing business in this league…We don’t want to have a coach for two or three years, we’d love to have one for seven or eight years, but it’s a tough job. There are a lot of young coaches, a lot of older coaches: it’s very competitive. Despite the glamour and the compensation, it is a difficult job.

It may be a lot to ask for in a head coach, but Los Angeles is one of the league’s most decorated franchises and nothing less than a championship is deemed an unsuccessful season by the players and fans.

They are high standards, but the Lakers’ front office seems to be in line with it as they are expected to court high-profile candidates for the job and depending on how high in the draft order they are placed in the lottery next Tuesday, things  should begin to unfold from then onward.

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Bob Garcia IV

Bob Garcia is a sports journalist from Southern California. He was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarcia90.

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