Former Cavaliers coach and current Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue is expected to be one of the NBA’s most popular head coaching candidates this offseason, and he’s unlikely to come at a discount, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic.
Vardon says that when Lue talked to the Lakers about their top job during the spring of 2019, he was seeking $7MM annually on a five-year contract. L.A.’s best offer was $20MM over three years, per The Athletic.
The Lakers won’t be in the market for a head coach this year, but there are several intriguing openings potentially in play for Lue, including the Nets, Sixers, and Pelicans jobs. Vardon notes that the Rockets could also join that list of Lue suitors if they decide to move on from Mike D’Antoni.
According to Vardon, there were frustrations within the Pelicans organization with Alvin Gentry around Christmas time in 2019, and if Lue had been available at that time – rather than working as a Clippers assistant – New Orleans may have moved on from Gentry and hired Lue during the season. However, sources tell Vardon that the Pelicans aren’t looking to spend more than about $5.5MM per year on their new head coach, so the competition for Lue may price them out.
Here are more head coaching notes and rumors from around the NBA:
- Lue expects to receive an offer from the Nets, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). While Gregg Popovich may be Brooklyn’s dream candidate, Lue looks like a better bet to ultimately claim the Nets’ coaching job, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post.
- Lue is also viewed as the Sixers‘ top candidate. However, some agents have wondered if team ownership will be willing to pay big money for Lue while Brett Brown‘s salary is still on the books for two more years, per Jabari Young of CNBC.com. Young adds Bucks assistant Darvin Ham to the list of candidates believed to be in the mix for the 76ers’ job.
- Warriors associate head coach Mike Brown is receiving consideration from the Sixers for their coaching vacancy, though it remains to seen whether he’ll be interviewed, Pompey reports for The Philadelphia Inquirer.