The Los Angeles Lakers want their next coach to double up as a recruiter, according to sources close to the team.
According to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News, the Lakers front office want Byron Scott’s successor to spearhead the team’s recruiting pitches to free agents during the forthcoming offseason. “That appears to be the No. 1 priority. It’s not just finding a guy to work with what’s on the roster. They need a coach who can pitch players,” a league source was quoted as saying.
Lakers need a recruiter, desperately
Over the last few offseasons, GM Mitch Kupchak and Vice President Jim Buss have failed to recruit a marquee free agent. Is that why they are counting on the new coach? In the aftermath of a franchise-worst season, many reckon that Byron Scott was the scapegoat for the team’s failures.
The Lakers need to find a way to convince talented players to join them. Is that really a coach’s job? According to Deveney, Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie has emerged as a leading candidate due to his close ties with players around the league. “Ollie played with 11 different NBA teams in his 13-year career, and developed a reputation for his knowledge of the game and his likability as a teammate and mentor for younger players,” read the report.
Prior to his retirement, Ollie’s last stop was Oklahoma City, where he teamed up with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Recently, Ollie revealed that Durant is “extremely loyal” to the Thunder and couldn’t be persuaded to join another unless he’s intrigued with the roster.
Post Kobe Bryant era…
According to an unnamed agent, the Lakers could benefit from Kobe Bryant’s exit since there is an opening for a franchise player. “In my experience, going into a meeting like that with the Lakers, they have not always been able to give players a clear vision of where they’re going,” the prominent agent told Sporting News. “With the Kobe situation, I think everyone understood that. But I don’t think there was a clear message of, OK, this is what is next, this is where we’re going. I think that is still their biggest problem they need to address.”
Will the Lakers find their next recruiter? In the mid-1990s, Jerry West was there to recruit Shaquille O’Neal. Who will convince the next superstar to come to L.A?