Lakers Rumors: Analyzing Latest Jason Kidd Buzz After Being Linked to Knicks

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd before an NBA basketball game between the Golden State Warriors and the Lakers in San Francisco, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

When Jason Kidd first joined the Los Angeles Lakers last offseason, there was some speculation that he would be a head-coach-in-waiting behind Frank Vogel.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported last May that talks between Los Angeles and Tyronn Lue had broken down, in part, because the Lakers had "been trying to impose their choices" for coaching assistants.

Kidd was one of those choices, and it didn't take much of a leap to get from Vogel being a secondary coaching choice to the idea that the former point guard might have a more permanent place in Los Angeles' long-term plans.

Vogel didn't let the possibility become a distraction, though.

"You can't worry about looking over your shoulder. You got to worry about getting good damn coaches, and that is how I feel about this hire," he said, per Jason Owens of Yahoo Sports.

Of course, the Lakers now have little reason to doubt their choice of Vogel as head coach. He has helped lead them to a Western Conference-best 49-14 record and should have the team in prime position to push for a title once the season officially resumes.

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And while it's easy to credit the talented tandem of LeBron James and Anthony Davis for Los Angeles' success, Vogel's focus on defense has also played a key role.

"He's a defensive coach and wants to have a defensive mindset," Davis said of Vogel in September, per ESPN's Dave McMenamin.

Los Angeles currently ranks third in points allowed per game (106.9) this season.

Barring an unforeseen collapse, there's little reason to believe the Lakers will be eager to replace Vogel in the near future. So, if Kidd once was L.A.'s coach-in-waiting, he probably isn't now.

This is most likely why Los Angeles was willing to grant the 47-year-old permission to interview with the New York Knicks for their head coaching position:

The Knicks have conducted a wide and varied coaching search to this point. Names like Tom Thibodeau and former Lakers coach Mike Brown have been linked to New York.

Kidd is the latest, and he's an intriguing option because he might provide an inside track at obtaining Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, according to Steve Popper of Newsday:

Signing Giannis isn't an option for the Lakers financially with James and Davis on the roster, so this potential situation has little bearing on L.A.'s decision to let Kidd interview.

The only real reason the Lakers would have for blocking his interview would be an interest in him as Vogel's replacement. Right now, that also isn't a concern.

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