Lakers Rumors: Latest Rumblings Surrounding Head Coaching Vacancy

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIMay 21, 2014

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak talks during a news conference in El Segundo, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, about the death of team owner Jerry Buss. Buss died in Los Angeles on Monday. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Chris Carlson/Associated Press

Since Mike D'Antoni resigned as the Los Angeles Lakers head coach following the worst season in franchise history, there's been plenty of speculation regarding who will take the reins of this historically successful franchise.

We could be in store for a turbulent offseason in Los Angeles, as the team is seemingly fluctuating between adding youth for an upcoming rebuild and looking for star power for a quick run at a championship.

No matter which direction the team takes, the first step is adding a head coach.

There's been several names linked to the Lakers recently.

One option appears to be veteran coach Mike Dunleavy, according to a report from ESPN's Chris Broussard. He writes, "Dunleavy, who has coached four NBA teams over 17 years, is also a candidate for the Los Angeles Lakers' open job, according to a source."

Dunleavy would be an interesting choice considering his ties with former Lakers coach and current New York Knicks president Phil Jackson.

Another name linked to the team was Connecticut Huskies head coach Kevin Ollie.

Ollie became a hot name after leading UConn to a surprising national title over the Kentucky Wildcats in the 2014 NCAA tournament.

Things changed Monday.

According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Ollie signed an extension to stay in Connecticut:

No longer considering himself a candidate for NBA coaching jobs, University of Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie has agreed in principle to a $3 million-plus annual contract extension, sources told Yahoo Sports on Monday. The deal could be worth more than $15 million over a five-year term, sources said.

Wojnarowski stated the Lakers were "intrigued" by Ollie but never formally reached out to the coach.

So, with Dunleavy as a potential option, and Ollie now out of play, who else may be on the Lakers' radar?

That's completely up to speculation; however, according to a tweet from Nick Young, he's up for the job:

All kidding aside, Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times compiled a rather extensive list of possible candidates:

The list of coaching possibilities is long and might include Kevin Ollie, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, Byron Scott, Roy Williams, John Calipari, Mike Krzyzewski, Mike Dunleavy, Billy Donovan, Lionel Hollins, Ettore Messina, George Karl, Kurt Rambis and Derek Fisher.

That's a whole lot of names.

Los Angeles shouldn't be in too much of a hurry to fill the position. After all, this is a team looking to rebound in a big way. Making a rash decision could set this franchise back in drastic fashion.

The Lakers have always been a strong team, and it's easy to think there are many interested parties out there capable of filling the void.

For now, the rumored names are few; although, as Pincus wrote, there are plenty of worthy candidates.

General manager Mitch Kupchak appears to have a plan in mind, according to an interview with Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

I think a coach's success, in a great part, depends on the players. You do have to get good players to win in this league. So, whether it's an experienced coach or inexperienced coach, I'm not quite sure what direction we'll go right now. I know our fans in Los Angeles are impatient, so it's not like we're on a seven- or eight-year rebuild schedule. We're going to try to win as soon as possible. It may take more than a year, but we're not going to try to drag it out.

We can speculate all we want, but at the end of the day, it will all come down to Kupchak's decision.

Get ready for an interesting offseason.