It had been reported that the Lakers were narrowing in on Lue after the Phoenix Suns managed to nab Philadelphia 76ers assistant Monty Williams to be their next head coach.
According to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Lue turned down a contract offer of three years, worth $18 million, supposedly because he wanted a longer term.
Lue is the former head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers and won an NBA title coaching Lakers superstar LeBron James in Cleveland. He was fired near the beginning of this season, but, as the report says, the Cavaliers still owe him approximately $10 million in contract payout, so accepting less from the Lakers would end up costing him.
As Wojnarowski reports, aside from contractual hurdles they couldn’t agree on, the Lakers had proposed scenarios for preferred assistants for Lue, including former Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd, whom Lakers GM Rob Pelinka and advisor Kurt Rambis had interviewed before for the head-coaching position.
The Lakers believed Kidd, a Hall-of-Fame point guard during his playing days, could’ve been a great asset in the development of young lead guard Lonzo Ball, Wojnarowski reports. Lue supposedly wasn’t against the idea of adding Kidd, but the possibility of bringing in the former guard wasn’t discussed with him, either.
Lue won two championships as a player with the Lakers in 2000 and 2001.
With him apparently out of the picture, the Lakers’ head-coaching search will continue, after they mutually parted ways with Luke Walton on April 12.
The Lakers have already reportedly interviewed Kidd for the position, as well as Miami Heat assistant Juwan Howard, and now it looks like they will include a trio of former head coaches in Lionel Hollins, Frank Vogel and Mike Woodson, says The Athletic’s Shams Charania.