Sources: Lue meeting with Lakers about vacancy

Former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Ty Lue is meeting with Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka on Friday to discuss the franchise’s coaching job, league sources told ESPN.

The meeting is set for Southern California, sources said, and represents the GM’s second significant sit-down in the Lakers’ process to replace Luke Walton as coach.

There is an expectation on both sides that Pelinka will have a second visit with the franchise’s other leading candidate — Philadelphia 76ers assistant Monty Williams, league sources said. Pelinka met with Williams on Tuesday in Philadelphia, and the conversation is expected to continue in the near future. The Sixers are leading the Brooklyn Nets 2-1 in a best-of-seven Eastern Conference playoff series.

Miami Heat assistant Juwan Howard is also interviewing for the Lakers coaching job, sources said. Howard was a teammate of James’ with the Heat, and a college teammate of Pelinka’s at the University of Michigan.

Lue reached the NBA Finals three times as the Cavaliers coach, including an NBA championship in 2016. He was fired shortly after the start of the 2018-19 season. Williams returned to coaching this season as Brett Brown’s top assistant. He spent the previous two years in the San Antonio Spurs‘ front office following the tragic death of his wife, Ingrid, in early 2016.

Williams left the Oklahoma City Thunder as associate head coach in the aftermath of his wife’s passing. He and his children relocated to San Antonio, where Williams had extended family.

Before his time with the Thunder, Williams coached the New Orleans Pelicans for five seasons. He reached the playoffs in his first season (2010-11) and his last (2014-15). Williams coached Anthony Davis and maintains a strong relationship with him. Davis has requested a trade from New Orleans and considers the Lakers a preferred destination. He can be a free agent in 2020.

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