After Luke Walton was named Lakers’ head coach, the first name to surface as a candidate to join his staff as lead assistant was Brian Shaw. Since then, it has been reported that Walton wanted Shaw to serve as his proxy in draft workouts, but that Shaw was considering other options, including waiting to see if an opening with the Warriors in Shaw’s hometown of Oakland would become a possibility.
It seems Shaw’s now close to making a decision and that the Lakers look to be his choice. From Broderick Turner of the LA Times:
Brian Shaw and the Lakers are close to an agreement on a deal for him to become Luke Walton’s lead assistant coach, the Los Angeles Times learned Saturday.
Shaw’s experience as a head coach, an assistant coach and as a championship player were the primary reasons why Walton wanted him on his staff, according to several NBA officials who are not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
As I’ve written, I would fully support Shaw’s hiring should he, as is being reported, agree to a deal.
His combination of experience as a top assistant for the Lakers (where he was part of two championship staffs) and the Pacers, his head coaching experience with the Nuggets, and his contributions on championship teams as a player make him a well rounded candidate who can bring a lot to the table. The fact that he has familiarity with Walton from their time together with the Lakers is a an added, and important, bonus.
Further, Shaw’s history in Indiana as Frank Vogel’s top assistant coincided with the rise of Paul George and Lance Stephenson’s best basketball. He was credited as playing a key role in the ascent of both players and the hope is that he can play a similar role in helping the Lakers’ young players tap into their reservoirs of potential.
Shaw, as both a player and an assistant, was also known to be able to relate to star players and provide a calming influence in the locker room. That type of pedigree would serve Walton’s staff well, especially in a market like Los Angeles where there always seems to be a certain flair for drama.
Of course a deal is not done, but if things are leaning that way I would see it as another win if an off-season which has seen the Lakers add Walton and retain their #2 overall draft pick in June’s draft. We will keep you posted as we get more information.