Walton's odds of remaining head coach are slipping along with Lakers' playoff chances.
The Los Angeles Lakers are in grave danger of falling out of the playoff race in the Western Conference, which would all but guarantee Luke Walton loses his job at season's end.
According to The New York Times' Marc Stein, it might not matter either way whether or not the Lakers sneak into the playoffs. The general belief around the league is that Walton won't be returning for the Lakers' 2019-20 campaign.
"The prevailing assumption in league coaching circles remains that Walton will almost certainly be dismissed after the season, followed by the Lakers resuming their trade quest for Davis. But denying Walton an opportunity to at finish out a season wrought with drama and distraction since James’s first dribble in purple and gold would be cruel and needless."
"Changes are coming, though. It’s an open secret that a big off-season reset looms in Lakerland."
Heading into Monday night's game against the seventh seeded Los Angeles Clippers, the Lakers (30-33) are sitting at 30-33 for the season, which is 4.5 games back of the eighth seeded San Antonio Spurs.
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Yahoo Sports' NBA Insider Chris Haynes believes that LeBron's former coach and former Lakers guard, Tyronn Lue, is an obvious candidate to replace Walton.
Haynes was a guest on "The Herd with Colin Cowherd" last Thursday, where he briefly discussed the state of the Lakers (H/T Clutch Points).
Cowherd: “…Well, I mean, I will say this, and I’m not going to blame anybody for this. But I have a source who I trust and I think it’s 10% Luke Walton is the coach next year and 90% he’s not. I’ll say that, you react to it…it would take getting into the playoffs, knocking off a Denver, it would take things I don’t think this club is capable of.
Haynes: “I wouldn’t dismiss that.”
Cowherd: “If I said there’s another coach out there…do you have in mind another coach for the Lakers next year?
Haynes: “Well, obviously Tyronn Lue. I mean, LeBron James, the day Lue got fired LeBron James put a tweet out supporting him. ‘You know how to contact me if you need me.'”