The L.A. Lakers' search for a new coach will not take long, says GM Kupchak

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After firing Byron Scott on Sunday, the Los Angeles Lakers' search for a new head coach is well underway and according to general manager Mitch Kupchak, it will not be a long process.

After the two worst seasons in franchise history under Scott, the Lakers have some big decisions to make this offseason in order to get back to a competitive level.

The hiring of a head coach that can make this happen will be their first course of action and the franchise is hoping everything else falls into place after that.

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This summer's free agency will also be crucial to the Lakers organisation with some big names on the market, most notably Kevin Durant, who they expect to make a run at.

Speaking to the team's official television network on Monday, Kupchak revealed that he has a long list of candidates to take over the reigns but that he expects to narrow that down quickly.

"I think it's unlikely there will be anything done in the next week or two," Kupchak said on Time Warner Cable SportsNet. "But certainly I don't anticipate this dragging into the summer. We'd like to get it done. We're looking to have a big offseason. It would be nice to have our staff in place during the draft and certainly when July 1 rolls around."

Scott's 38-126 (.232) record with the team was the worst of any of the 16 coaches that had led the franchise for at least two seasons and the next man to come in can hardly do any worse, but a well-respected coach could go some way to attracting free agents.

Former Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau and ex-Oklahoma City Thunder boss Scott Brooks were the two most sought-after men on the market but the Lakers were late to the party as Thibodeau was snapped up by the Minnesota Timberwolves and Brooks joined the Washington Wizards within the last week.

Among the names high on Kupchak's list is expected to be Golde State Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton, who is a popular figure among the team's fans having spent nine seasons in L.A., winning two championships in the purple and gold uniform.

Reports today have also emerged that the San Antonio Spurs have given the Lakers permission to speak to their lead assistant coach, Ettore Messina.

"There are a lot of different arenas that we can look to to find a coach," Kupchak said. "That opens up, clearly, assistants, existing head coaches, and we've got a list. We're trying to narrow the list down. We'll contact some people, and hopefully we'll have some phone conversations, maybe some in-person interviews, and go from there. I don't think it's going to drag out, but you don't know."

With a lottery pick to come in the draft too, this will be one of the biggest periods for the NBA's second most successful franchise. One which will determine whether they can rebuild the foundations of a winning organisation.

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