Luke Walton
Lakers are looking for a replacement for Luke Walton after they agreed to mutually part ways. In this picture, Walton of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on against the Brooklyn Nets during their game at the Barclays Center in New York City, Dec. 18, 2018. Al Bello/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly actively looking for replacements for Luke Walton ahead of next season. It is widely believed they will show Walton the door once their current campaign comes to an end April 9.

The Lakers have endured yet another disappointing campaign and are facing their sixth consecutive campaign away from the playoffs. The addition of LeBron James last summer was expected to change that trend, but even the league’s greatest player has not been able to galvanize a team with a mix of veterans and young potential.

Walton has had to deal with suspensions and multiple injury absences during the course of the campaign, especially with two of his most experienced players — James and point guard Rajon Rondo — missing big chunks of the season. The team was also without talented youngsters, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, which has hampered their chances of making the post-season.

Despite the internal factors affecting their performances, Walton is unlikely to get a reprieve going into next season. The New York Times’ Marc Stein reported the Lakers were looking at multiple options but ruled out two of their preferred candidates.

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers was said to be among the top candidates the Lakers had in mind to take over from Walton, but the former Boston Celtics coach has distanced himself from the speculation. He revealed recently that his long-term future lies with the Clippers after reaching an agreement over a multi-year deal with owner Steve Ballmer.

Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle was said to be the other candidate on the Lakers’ radar, but will be unavailable to them this summer. He has coached the Mavericks since 2008 and led them to the title in 2011.

It was reported earlier that the Dallas franchise had restructured Carlisle’s deal prior to the start of the current campaign and have now added a further year keeping him through the 2022-23 season. It was also reported by Stein that an “undisclosed salary increase” had also been agreed.

The Lakers are running out of preferred options, but the report claimed that the name most frequently cited in league coaching circles was that of Tyronn Lue, a former Laker, but also James’ coach at the Cleveland Cavaliers for two-and-a-half seasons.

Lue, currently unemployed after being fired by the Cavaliers following a 0-6 start to the current campaign, has a great understanding with James, having led him to the title in 2016. He could be brought in as he would have the immediate acceptance of the leader of the Lakers team.

Another candidate who has been linked with the head coaching job at the Lakers in Jason Kidd. The former Milwaukee Bucks coach and Brooklyn Nets legend has confirmed he would accept the job if offered.