It now looks like former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue won’t be reuniting with LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers as expected, as Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times tweeted on Wednesday afternoon that Lue will be “moving on” and no longer pursuing the Lakers’ coaching vacancy. This came just days after a report from Yahoo Sports‘ Chris Haynes suggested that both sides were ironing things out in preparation for Lue’s hiring as Los Angeles’ next head coach. But what were the reasons behind this surprising new development?
According to Bleacher Report, multiple sources have provided some information on why Lue and the Lakers recently reached a stalemate, with Lue ultimately taking his name out of the discussions, as noted above by Turner. The publication first cited ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who said on SportsCenter that Lue was offered a three-year contract to coach the Lakers with a salary of about $6 million a year. In a separate tweet, Turner wrote that Lue was reportedly seeking a five-year deal.
In addition, Bleacher Report cited two tweets from Marc Stein of The New York Times, which suggested that the Lakers wanted to control the search for their supporting coaching staff, instead of allowing Lue to choose his own assistants.
With Tyronn Lue no longer in the running for the Los Angeles Lakers’ head coaching vacancy, Jason Kidd’s name has again come up as a potential candidate to lead the way for the Purple and Gold going forward. While reports claimed in April that Kidd had been interviewed for the Lakers’ coaching job, both Lue and former Philadelphia 76ers assistant Monty Williams soon took over as the leading candidates, with Williams eventually dropping out of contention after he agreed to coach the Phoenix Suns as Igor Kokoskov’s replacement.
At the moment, it’s unclear whether the Lakers will still be linked to former Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau, considering how the talks with Lue appear to have broken down. As reported by The Athletic (via Sports Illustrated), rumors suggested earlier this week that Lue wanted Thibodeau to join the Lakers as an assistant coach in the event he would get the team’s head coaching job, with LeBron James also showing interest in having him move to Los Angeles. However, it was also noted that there were some variables that could prevent Thibodeau from taking the job, including his “possible preference” to serve as a head coach.