Lakers' coach wishlist apparently 10 names strong: Meet the candidates

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Football News

Byron Scott's time as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers came to an end today after the franchise announced they were parting ways with the 55-year-old after two seasons in charge.

With the former 'showtime era' star having been shown the exit door after compiling a less-than-impressive 38-126 record during his time in charge, it hasn't taken long for speculation about who his replacement will be to emerge.

As reported by ESPN, unlike the New York Knicks who are rumoured to be pursuing a "lone candidate" strategy in their search for a new coach, the Lakers' initial wish list of potential candidates includes as many as 10 names.

Included in the names revealed to ESPN reporters Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst by sources with knowledge of the situation are names from college basketball, a Eurobasket success story and coaches who, until fairly recently, were employed elsewhere in the NBA.

With the Lakers expected to begin contacting candidates about the vacant position in the next 48 hours, let's break down the names on the apparent 10 strong list:

1) Luke Walton - Current position: Golden State Warriors assistant coach

A two-time NBA champion with the Lakers back in 2009 and 2010, Walton will be coveted by a number of teams this offseason after leading the Warriors to a 39-4 record to start the season as Steve Kerr rehabbed a back injury.

2) Kevin Ollie - Current position: University of Connecticut head coach

A 13 year veteran of the NBA as a player, Ollie took the Connecticut Huskies to the national title in 2014. Known to be a good friend of Kevin Durant, the star of this year's free agency class. 

3) David Blatt - Current position: Unemployed

After numerous successes in Europe, took the Cleveland Cavaliers to the 2015 Finals only to lose to Golden State. Under pressure throughout his tenure, was fired back in January despite the Cavs sitting top of the Eastern Conference at the time.

4) Ettore Messina - Current position: San Antonio Spurs assistant coach

Another who made his name in Europe - he is a four-time EuroLeague champion - Messina has been a Spurs assistant coach since 2014. He previously worked as a consultant for the Lakers in 2011-12. 

5) John Calipari - Current position: University of Kentucky head coach

Always linked to a vacant NBA head coaching position, Calipari has nurtured a host of NBA players during his time in Kentucky, such as Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall. Coached the New Jersey Nets for three years in the 1990s.

6) Jeff Van Gundy - Current position: TV analyst

Has 11 years experience as an NBA head coach and, in spells with the Knicks and Rockets, compiled a winning record of 430-318. Hasn't coached since the 2006-7 season, though, and currently works as a game commentator.

7) Jeff Hornacek - Current position: Unemployed

Runner-up for the NBA Coach of the Year award as recently as 2014, Hornacek was fired by the Phoenix Suns earlier this year with the team on a 14-35 record.

8) Roy Williams - Current position: University of North Carolina head coach

At 65, Williams is a veteran of college basketball with almost 40 years of service at North Carolina and Kansas. Winner of two national titles with the Tar Heels where a number of current NBA stars played their college ball.

9) Tom Izzo - Current position: Michigan State University head coach

A member of the 2016 class of Hall of Fame inductees after over 20 years in charge of the Spartans, it might be tough to tempt him away from Michigan.

10) Jay Wright - Current position: Villanova University head coach

Fresh off the back of leading Villanova to the National Championship, Wright is a hot commodity right now and was recently linked to the Phoenix Suns head coach position.

L.A. Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Phoenix Suns
Kobe Bryant
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Golden State Warriors

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