Later Friday night, it was announced that Luke Walton, who is currently serving as an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors ,has accepted an offer to become the Los Angeles Lakers head coach following the Golden State Warriors current playoff run.
Walton attracted the Lakers attention due to his success serving as interim Head Coach for the Warriors this year and played a major role in their record-breaking season prior to Steve Kerr's return from a spinal fluid leak that kept him out for a good portion of this season. The Lakers will be paying Walton a base salary of between $5-$6 million per season that can increase if he hits certain incentives.
Walton faces a tough task, as the Lakers are in a rebuilding phase that has been going on since the 2012 season, with no clear path back to greatness. Walton, who won two championships as a role player with the Lakers in the 2009 and 2010 seasons, will be the 4th head coach since Phil Jackson left in 2011.
The list of failed head coaches include Mike Brown, Mike D'antoni and Byron Scott, whom were all experienced head coaches. Walton certainly will have his work cut out for him, because as currently constituted, the Lakers roster is a mess, and is nothing compared to what he had to work with this past season.
In the end, I believe Walton will only be successful if ownership and management will allow him to be. The Lakers have failed to attract big name free agents the past four years and the reputation of the franchise since Dr. Jerry Buss died has gone down significantly.
A good start could be in the NBA draft, where the Lakers are slated to get the second pick, which will mostly likely be Brandon Ingram or Ben Simmons. Unfortunetely for Laker Land, there is still a long road ahead back to greatness with no clear end in sight.
By Spencer Roush