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Lakers, Lue reach impasse on deal, sources say
ESPN | Adrian Wojnarowski
Negotiations between the Los Angeles Lakers and Ty Lue have reached an impasse without an agreement to him the franchise’s next head coach, league sources told ESPN.
It is immediately unclear if the Lakers will move onto other candidates, or re-engage with Lue to find common ground on a deal.
Beyond an inability to agree on contractual terms, the Lakers had proposed several scenarios involving their preferred candidates for assistant coaches, including Jason Kidd, league sources said.
The Cleveland Cavaliers still owe Lue $10-plus million on his contract payout, and accepting a less-than-market value deal from the Lakers could ultimately cost him money.
Several days of discussions culminated on Wednesday without an agreement that will reunite Lue and LeBron James, a partnership that delivered Cleveland the NBA championship in 2016.
Lue was a preferred choice of James’, but his championship history as a Lakers player – coupled with his successful run as Cavaliers coach – also played a strong role in the Lakers offering him the job.
General manager Rob Pelinka and front office advisor Kurt Rambis had interviewed Kidd for the head coaching job, and became convinced that he should be a key member of a Lue coaching staff, league sources said. They believed Kidd could be impactful with point guard Lonzo Ball, and were impressed with the Milwaukee Bucks player development during his tenure there. It isn’t believed that Lue had objections to Kidd joining his staff, but the two had not discussed the possibility directly, league sources said.
Lue’s candidacy moved to the forefront once Sixers assistant Monty Williams accepted the Phoenix Suns‘ head coaching job on Friday. The coaching search began after the Lakers and coach Luke Walton parted ways on April 12.
Before Lue’s dismissal six games into the 2018-2019 season, Lue had led the Cavaliers to three consecutive NBA Finals appearances. He had a 128-83 record in three-plus seasons in Cleveland.
As a player, Lue was part of Lakers championships in 2000 and 2001.
The Lakers also conducted head coaching interviews with Kidd and Miami assistant Juwan Howard.