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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Lakers reportedly delaying coaching search to appeal to free agents like Melo, LeBron

Mitch KupchakWhile teams like the Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves have hired new coaches for the upcoming season, the Los Angeles Lakers have been taking their time during the process. According to one report, they’ll continue to delay things for a specific reason.

USA Today’s Sam Amick reports that the Lakers could wait until July before hiring a coach because they want to make their team as appealing as possible to potential free agents. Amick mentions that the Lakers will do what they can to sign LeBron James and/or Carmelo Anthony, who could become free agents if they decline their options for next season.

Though Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak (pictured) has said they will not take the input of Kobe Bryant when making a coaching hire, this suggests that they will at least allow a big-time free agent to have some input in the process.

So far the Lakers have interviewed Byron Scott, Mike Dunleavy, Kurt Rambis, George Karl and Alvin Gentry for the job. Karl is probably the best coach of the bunch, but hiring him would probably make the team a lot less attractive for someone like ‘Melo, who already was coached by Karl for several years in Denver.

It sounds pretty absurd on the surface to think that the Lakers are delaying a process for the hope that they could land a big free agent, but it’s actually sound strategy. LeBron probably isn’t going anywhere, but if you’re the Lakers, how does it hurt to try wooing him? And despite the flaws in his game, they could definitely use a guy like Anthony. Why box themselves in by hiring a coach now?

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