Former Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson received permission to fire head coach Luke Walton at the end of the 2018-19 season, according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes.
Johnson announced his resignation as Los Angeles’ president on Tuesday night. He was previously given the green light to fire Walton at the end of the year by owner Jeanie Buss, per Haynes. Johnson reportedly wanted to fire Walton during the regular season, but any potential move was delayed until after Los Angeles’ dissapointing first year with LeBron James.
Walton has been Los Angeles’ head coach since 2016. The Lakers are 98–148 under Walton, failing to reach the playoffs in each of his three seasons with the franchise. Walton previously served as an assistant coach with the Warriors from 2014-16.
The Lakers could target former Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue and former Warriors head coach Mark Jackson for their coaching vacancy, per Haynes. Lue coached Cleveland from 2015-19, winning the 2016 Finals with James.
Los Angeles finished the 2018-19 season at 37–45, its sixth-straight losing season. LeBron James played in just 55 games, ending his season on March 30.