Lakers Rumors: LA Has Permission to Interview Juwan Howard for HC Opening

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 14, 2019

MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 12:  Assistant coach Juwan Howard of the Miami Heat in action against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second half at American Airlines Arena on November 12, 2018 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers received permission to interview Miami Heat assistant coach Juwan Howard, according to ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne.

The Lakers parted ways with Luke Walton on Friday. Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported Saturday that Los Angeles made contact with former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Ty Lue about its head coaching vacancy.

According to the Los Angeles Times' Tania Ganguli, the Lakers expect to interview Howard, Lue and Monty Williams this week, with the full details yet to be finalized.

The Lakers aren't the only team interested in Howard. ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Cleveland Cavaliers will meet with the 46-year-old and Dallas Mavericks assistant Jamahl Mosley.

Howard has worked on the Heat's staff for the past five seasons. He entered the coaching ranks after ending his 19-year playing career in 2013.

Because of his vast experience as a player, Howard would immediately command a level of respect inside an NBA locker room. He'd be a good fit for the Lakers, in particular, since he and LeBron James were teammates on the Heat for three seasons.

Whether the organization consults with James directly or not, Los Angeles will want to make sure he's behind the candidate it selects to succeed Walton.

Although Howard hasn't yet coached his own team, ESPN.com's Kevin Arnovitz wrote he has earned glowing endorsements during his time working under Erik Spoelstra: "Those in Miami say Howard's gravitas as a coach, already present on Day 1, has only grown over time. He has developed a passion for the craft and has honed his tactical knowledge."

Regardless of whom they chose, the Lakers will want to wrap their coaching search up somewhat quickly so they can have everything set when they pursue marquee free agents this offseason.

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