Reports: Lakers expected to soon close in on Lue

The Phoenix Suns’ hiring of Monty Williams as coach today may have moved the Los Angeles Lakers closer to their next coaching hire, too.

Per multiple reports, the Lakers are expected to soon move toward hiring Tyronn Lue as their next coach. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that no offer has been made yet to Lue by the Lakers, but that they are proceeding toward an offer to Lue in the coming days.

Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reports that Lue is in Las Vegas waiting to hear from the Lakers about the job. The two sides are supposed to talk today about getting a deal done as Lue has always been the team’s top choice for its coaching opening.

Former Lakers coach Phil Jackson suggested to team owner Jeanie Buss that Lue would be a good coach for the Lakers, Turner reports.

Tania Ganguli and Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times report that the Lakers are expected to reach out to Lue in an effort to hire them for their vacancy. Per the Los Angeles Times, Lue was favored for the job even before Luke Walton and the team agreed to part ways after the 2018-19 season. Williams and Lue completed their second interviews with the Lakers on April 24 and 25, respectively, the Los Angeles Times reports. However, neither heard from the Lakers as of late Thursday afternoon.

Lue coached the Cavaliers from 2016-18, taking over in the middle of the 2015-16 season. He and James teamed to lead Cleveland to the 2016 NBA title as well as Finals appearances in ’17 and ’18. Lue was fired after Cleveland’s 0-6 start this season, the Cavs’ first since James left for the Lakers in free agency last summer.

He amassed a 128-83 record with the Cavs and won two previous titles as a reserve with the Lakers in ’00 and ’01. The Lakers have been without a coach since Walton and the team officially parted ways on April 12. Walton was then hired by the Sacramento Kings as their new coach on April 15.

Williams coached the New Orleans Pelicans from 2010-15, leading them to a pair of playoff appearances while amassing a 173-221 record overall. He was fired after the Pelicans were swept from the 2015 playoffs by the Golden State Warriors. From there, Williams was an assistant on the Oklahoma City Thunder coaching staff. In February 2016, Williams’ wife, Ingrid, was killed in a car accident.

He then stepped away from his role with the Thunder to grieve and care for his family. He joined the San Antonio Spurs’ front office in September, 2016 and this season served as an assistant on the Philadelphia 76ers coaching staff.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.