The Lakers hired the 36-year-old April 29, and he will join the team as soon as the Warriors' season comes to a close. But Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak updated the media Friday, noting Walton signed his contract Thursday night, per Bill Oram of the Orange County Register.
Kupchak is eager to get Walton to Los Angeles, though, per Oram:
Kupchak and his new head coach "text daily," but the Lakers GM wants to make sure Walton can stay focused on the Warriors' playoff run, per Mike Trudell of Lakers.com.
Walton has also been in contact with his future players, and Kupchak believes he will be able to connect with them better than former head coach Byron Scott did, per Trudell:
Considering Walton isn't a seasoned coach, Kupchak disclosed that the front office will be involved in the locker room. Because Walton will be a first-year head coach, Kupchak said there's a "strong possibility" that the assistants he'll bring in will have head coaching experience, per Oram.
In order to hire Walton, the Lakers first had to fire Scott, who went 38-126 in two years with the team. Kupchak stated the possibility of Walton going elsewhere put things into motion, per Oram.
Kupchak expects the Walton-led Lakers to play a different style of basketball compared to last year, per Trudell. Walton will likely implement a fast-paced offense that is similar to Golden State's and bring on another coach to focus on defense.
He'll lead a roster that could look significantly different, too, especially after the retirement of Kobe Bryant. With a loaded free-agency class headlined by Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant set to hit the market in the summer, the Lakers could try to make a big splash.
On top of that, there is a possibility that the Lakers would trade the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft if they get it, sources told Fox Sports' Colin Cowherd.
So by the time Lakers fans see Walton patrolling the sidelines at Staples Center, their team could look different and improved.