The Los Angeles Lakers are almost certain to move on from head coach Luke Walton this offseason, and there are some familiar faces on the list of names as possible replacements, via BetOnline.ag.
The list starts with the obvious favorites to team up with LeBron James: Miami Heat assistant Juwan Howard (4-1), former Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue (7-1), current head coach Luke Walton (7-1), former Minnesota head coach Tom Thibodeau (15-2) and former Milwaukee head coach Jason Kidd (9-1).
Jerry Stackhouse, an assistant with the Memphis Grizzlies and the primary target in the Vanderbilt basketball coaching search, was also listed at 10-1 odds.
Go down the list a bit, and you see our first significant non-NBA name in good ole Rick Pitino with 50-1 betting odds.
Rumors have been out for a while now that Pitino, currently with Panathinaikos of the Greek Basket League and the EuroLeague, wants to make a return to the United States to coach again. He’s also been listed as a candidate for the UCLA job, among others, but if the Division-1 positions fill fast and the Lakers strike out on some of their home run options, could they make a run at Pitino? He’d certainly have interest.
Just a few spots down from the scandal-ridden Louisville head coach is none other than Kentucky head coach John Calipari, who agreed to a lifetime contract extension with the school yesterday. He was rumored to have significant interest in the Cleveland Cavaliers job back in 2014, especially when it became clear that LeBron James was contemplating a return home.
After Calipari turned down the UCLA job, would their professional basketball friends take a stab at pulling in the Kentucky head coach?
Los Angeles may gauge interest, but it’d be a shock to see Calipari even remotely interested in leaving his current situation for that mess of a roster and an aging LeBron right now. I think it’s safe to say they’re no legitimate threat, especially considering the other names they’re rumored to have interest in right now.
Other names of interest:
- Bill Self at 66-1 (which seems oddly low, considering there are actual NBA rumors floating around with him)
- Sean Miller at 100-1 (again, surprisingly low considering there’s a solid chance he’ll be a coaching free agent after the FBI trial concludes. If so, he probably won’t be around college basketball anytime soon.)
- Coach K at 100-1
- Tom Izzo at 100-1
- Charles Barkley at 500-1
- LeBron James at 500-1
- Lavar Ball at 1000-1 (my personal favorite)
You can take a look at the entire list below:
— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) April 2, 2019