The Los Angeles Lakers continue their search for a new head coach after a “mutually agreed” separation from Luke Walton following a franchise-record sixth consecutive season out of the playoffs. Monty Williams and Tyronn Lue have been the leading candidates to fill the vacancy, but they are yet to make a decision despite meeting the dup on more than one occasion.

LeBron James, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, has stayed out of any decision-making process but is said to favor a reunion with his former Cleveland Cavalier coach. The Lakers will be aware that a good relationship between the head coach and their star player will be key to them having a successful campaign.

Lue and James combined well in Cleveland making three straight NBA Finals, while the Cavaliers also became the first team in finals history to come back from a 3-1 deficit and beat the reigning back-to-back champions Golden State Warriors for the title. And his familiarity with the now unemployed coach is said to play a big role in him wanting a reunion over beginning a new relationship with Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Williams.

LeBron James
LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the first half of a game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center in Los Angeles, March 4, 2019. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

New York Times’ Marc Stein also believes the most obvious move for the Lakers is to sign Lue over any other candidate, but it remains to be seen how long the franchise will wait before making an appointment. They have also met with Miami Heat assistant Juwan Howard, who also has a relationship with James, but is not being mentioned as a front-runner at least for the moment.

Moreover, Stein believes Williams' move to the Phoenix Suns is gaining momentum after they held a second meeting earlier in the week. The assistant coach is currently concentrated on taking the 76ers as deep as possible in the playoffs and they are currently leading Toronto Raptors 2-1 in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Lakers are facing a summer of change after losing their head coach and president of basketball operations – Magic Johnson – who stepped down from his role. They also need to recruit players to ensure they end their playoff drought and become contenders.

The team has $38 in max salary cap space and James has vowed to help recruit some top players after making it clear that he wants to win with the Los Angeles franchise. Rob Pelinka is leading the front office after Johnson’s sudden departure and at the moment it looks unlikely that they will replace the NBA Hall of Famer.