Colin Cowherd: Lakers Already Have Someone Lined Up to Replace Magic Johnson

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 17, 2019

Magic Johnson speaks to reporters prior to an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, in Los Angeles. Johnson abruptly quit as the Lakers' president of basketball operations Tuesday night, citing his desire to return to the simpler life he enjoyed as a wealthy businessman and beloved former player before taking charge of the franchise just over two years ago. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly already have Magic Johnson's replacement as president of basketball operations lined up, according to Colin Cowherd of The Herd.

Herd w/Colin Cowherd @TheHerd

.@ColinCowherd on Lakers HC search and Magic replacement: - Monty Williams is No. 1 choice, but might not get him if 76ers lose in 1st 2 round of playoffs - Ty Lue 2nd choice and likely HC - Already have someone to replace Magic, he's currently running another team in playoffs https://t.co/AuikjEa16F

"They are communicating with him and he is OKing all these moves," Cowherd said of Johnson's mystery replacement. "He is not currently in the Laker building. He's currently running another team that's in the playoffs. It could be a handful of people. It could be a Michael Winger with the Los Angeles Clippers, Bob Myers with Golden State, young smart guy in Toronto. There's a couple other guys out there."

Cowherd also reported that Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams was the Lakers' first choice as their next head coach, but that Williams would prefer to remain in Philadelphia if that head-coaching position became available given the team's stronger roster. That would be contingent upon Brett Brown being fired after this postseason, however. 

The Lakers' second choice would reportedly be former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue. Both Williams and Lue have been regularly connected to the Lakers job:

Dan Woike @DanWoikeSports

Monty Williams has a lot of respect from players around the league. https://t.co/YhxQVTGVSe

Ramona Shelburne @ramonashelburne

The Lakers plan to talk to Monty Williams, Tyronn Lue & Juwan Howard as part of the initial phase of their coaching search, league sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/gJbhvnqLXk

Whoever takes over the president of basketball operations role will have a number of huge decisions to make this offseason, including appointing a head coach.

Will Rob Pelinka remain as general manager? What will the plan be to attract star free agents? If they fall short on that goal, will they be able to trade for a star like Anthony Davis or perhaps Bradley Beal? Are any of the team's young players worth keeping in any such deal?

Of course, the fact that the Lakers are reportedly already honing in on a next head coach sends mixed signals about just how much decision-making power their next president will hold, at least this offseason, if that person isn't being consulted on the candidates. 

Tom Haberstroh @tomhaberstroh

The Lakers don’t have a president of basketball operations but apparently have strong preferences for head coach already if you wanted to know how much power Magic’s replacement will have

They'll also be stepping into one of the most high-profile executive jobs in professional sports, one that the affable Johnson quit after just two years. Johnson and Pelinka were unable to turn the Lakers into a contender; Johnson's predecessor will be mandated to achieve that goal. 


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.