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Among all the uncertainty facing the Los Angeles Lakers, two things stand true at the moment: their final game of the year will be on Sunday, and they’re canning coach Frank Vogel once they cross the finish line.
According to new reports on Sunday, the Purple and Gold are already hot on one coach’s trail: Toronto Raptors’ Nick Nurse.
After days of Lakers media reporting that Utah’s Quin Snyder (a former Lakers assistant) and Philadelphia’s Doc Rivers are the current targets for LA, Nurse emerged on Sunday as the new favorite lead among the coaching considerations.
In three seasons with the Raptors, Nurse has amassed a 186-121 regular-season record (pending Sunday’s finale against the New York Knicks) and led the organization to their first NBA championship in his first season as coach.
As a follow-up to his stellar debut, Nurse won NBA’s Coach of the Year accolade in 2020 — a year shortened by the COVID pandemic. The Raptors finished 53-19 that season.
Nurse signed a multi-year extension with Toronto in 2020, meaning the Lakers will have to negotiate for Nurse to leave his contract in order to coach in the Southland.
The Lakers will be expecting plenty of new beginnings this offseason.
Aside from Vogel’s expected firing, general manager Rob Pelinka will surely be put on trial after his offseason investments completely tanked this year.
The longstanding disconnect between the team and first-year Laker Russell Westbrook proved to be one of the priciest blunders by a Lakers GM, along with acquiring Miami Heat guard Kendrick Nunn, who failed to register a single appearance all season due to a bone bruise.
Adding to the crumbling Lakers dynasty are potential exits by superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, as the latter’s name gets thrown around as potential offseason trade capital and James exhibits a laissez-faire attitude toward staying in Los Angeles.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela