The Los Angeles Lakers are one of three teams currently trying to fill a head coaching vacancy, along with the Kings and Hornets, but they seem willing to be patient this offseason while waiting for a full complement of candidates to be available.
Unsurprisingly, the Lakers seem intent on finding someone with head coaching experience to fill their opening, with plenty of big names being attached to their wishlist early on. Jazz coach Quin Snyder and Sixers coach Doc Rivers were among the first to be named as top targets, with Raptors coach Nick Nurse being floated as well. The problem with all three is that they’re under contract with their current teams (and all had playoff series to prepare for), and while Rivers is the only one still coaching, we haven’t had any movement on the Lakers search so far.
We likely won’t hear much about Snyder’s situation for some time as he’s about to have hip replacement surgery, and on Nurse’s end, the Raptors are not looking to let their coach explore other opportunities. On Tuesday, Masai Ujiri met with the media and was asked about the Nurse rumors and noted that no one’s asked him for permission on Nurse before offering up a pretty funny response that he too likes to dream, but teams hoping for Nurse to come available can “keep dreaming.”
Full Masai Ujiri end-of-season availability is up.
SPOILER: Nick Nurse isn't going anywhere 😭
— Yahoo Sports Canada (@YahooCASports) May 3, 2022
“No team has contacted me,” Ujiri said. “And I see all the stuff that you guys see. I dream like they dream. I want Messi. I want Renaldo. I want Kobe Bryant. So they can keep dreaming. I dream too. … I’m not going into that Grange. How I dreams? Just like the Lakers [laughs].”
It would’ve been shocking for the Raptors to grant the Lakers permission to talk to Nurse about their opening, so this comes as little surprise, but it’s a great quote from Ujiri and a reminder that sometimes when we see things floated publicly, it’s as much about hoping and dreaming as it is something that could realistically happen.