Kings reach deal to hire Walton as coach

Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka reportedly had to intervene when Lonzo Ball scheduled unauthorized ankle surgery. More

Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka reportedly had to intervene when Lonzo Ball scheduled unauthorized ankle surgery. More

The deal will make Walton the team's next head coach through the 2022-23 season.

"Sacramento GM Vlade Divac is offering Luke Walton his franchise's coaching job and there's confidence on both sides that a deal can be reached quickly, league sources tell ESPN".

Fellow LA Times reporter Tania Ganguli reported that Pelinka is the man leading the search for the Lakers' next coach, with Magic Johnson recently having stepped down as president of basketball operations at Staples Center.

LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers previous year to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Steve Kerr (right) backed Luke Walton, who was sacked as Lakers coach this week.

"They are losing a guy who knows the game as well as anybody I've ever met", said Kerr, who had Walton on his coaching team before he left to join the Lakers in 2016.

Having been fourth in the Western Conference as of Christmas Day, injury to LeBron and subsequent off-court problems saw the Lakers end the year in 10th with a 37-45 record.

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Many considered him the unofficial Coach of the Year for his guidance of the then-champion Warriors at the start of the 2015-16 season in place of an ailing Steve Kerr.

"I'm disappointed for Luke".

"They are losing somebody who the players believe in and the players want to play for".

Walton spent three seasons as coach of the Lakers, a team that drafted him in 2003. But again, he was dependent on circumstances, just like all of us are.

Sports talk personality Skip Bayless said earlier he hoped Lakers owner Jeanie Buss would keep Walton to spite its star player and Magic Johnson.

Well, I think it's safe to say I called this one correctly.

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