Who Are The Candidates To Replace Mike D’Antoni As Lakers Head Coach?

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Apr 7, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach

Kevin Ollie

at a press conference after defeating the Kentucky Wildcats in the championship game of the Final Four in the 2014 NCAA Mens Division I Championship tournament at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Ollie

The Lakers intend to reach out to both Kevin Ollie and John Calipari to gauge their interest in the Lakers position. While neither one is likely to leave college, this is still the premier coaching job in the NBA.

Kevin Ollie would be a fantastic hire for a couple of reasons. One, he’s a former NBA player who has a ton of respect throughout the NBA. Second, he just won a National Championship at UCONN in only his second year as head coach. He also took over a UCONN program that was under sanctions. Talk about a quick turnaround. He’s the youngest and brightest star in the coaching profession and grabbing him now may be a steal. If Ollie is really as good as he has been for the past two years at UCONN, we could be looking at one of the best coaches of the past couple decades.

However, there is a bigger plan in play here with Ollie. Ollie is very good friends with Kevin Durant, whom he played with on the Oklahoma City Thunder. In fact, Durant credits Ollie with changing the culture of the Thunder and building them into a legitimate contender.

"“Kevin Ollie, he was a game-changer for us. He changed the whole culture, I think. He might not say it, but I think he changed the whole culture in Oklahoma City.” – Kevin Durant to Bill Simmons on the B.S. Report."

If the Lakers were to hire Ollie, they would have an advantage over every other team in the NBA, sans the Thunder, in signing Durant when he becomes a free agent after the 2016 season. Put simply, if the Lakers want Durant, they should hire Ollie.