The Los Angeles Lakers are floundering at 30-33 and are already looking ahead to the offseason for possible changes.
"The prevailing assumption in league coaching circles remains that Walton will almost certainly be dismissed after the season, followed by the Lakers resuming their trade quest for [Anthony] Davis," Stein wrote.
Los Angeles were heavily involved in trade discussions for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis but weren't able to land him before the Feb. 7 deadline.
The Lakers included most of their young core in the initial trade offers, including Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball but eventually backed out, per Adrian Wojnarowskiof ESPN.
With Dell Demps no longer in charge of the Pelicans front office, negotiations could go differently in the offseason.
On the other hand, this likely won't matter for Walton, who is seemingly nearing the end of his tenure with Los Angeles.
The coach is just 91-136 in his three seasons with the Lakers, but this year had more promise thanks to the addition of LeBron James. This hasn't been the case over the past few months, though. James missed 17 games with a groin strain, and the team has dropped 4.5 contests out of a playoff spot entering Monday.
Stein reported in January that Walton still had the "strongest possible backing" from owner Jeanie Buss, and it didn't appear as though a move would happen during the regular season.
Still, it seems the disappointment from this year will lead to a coaching change in the offseason.