Warriors owner to meet with coach finalists

Marc J. Spears

Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob is expected to begin interviewing finalists for the franchise’s head-coaching job in early June, NBA sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Warrior general manager Larry Riley and assistant general manager Bob Myers have had preliminary interviews with former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown, Dallas Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey, and Los Angeles Lakers assistants Brian Shaw and Chuck Person. Boston Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank has also received permission from his team to have a preliminary interview with the Warriors soon. Another candidate or two could be added to the list, but the Warriors are focused on this group for now.

The Warriors decided after the season to not retain Keith Smart as head coach. The Warriors improved by 10 games under Smart, but it wasn’t enough to convince the team to keep him.

Lacob recently returned from a trip to Africa and will be representing the Warriors at the NBA draft lottery on Tuesday in New Jersey. After this week’s draft combine, the Warriors are expected to conclude their preliminary interviews and determine a list of finalists for Lacob to interview. The Warriors appear to be seeking not only a talented, defensive-minded coach but someone with some cache who could sell well to the Bay Area fans in the new ownership group’s first coaching hire. Brown coached LeBron James(notes) when he helped guide the Cavaliers to the 2007 NBA Finals, Casey’s Mavericks are in the Western Conference finals and Shaw is an Oakland native.

There are no front-runners for the job, sources say, as Brown, Casey, Shaw and Frank are all getting legitimate looks while Person is considered a long shot.

The fate of Minnesota Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis could also be learned soon. Rambis’ agent, Warren LeGarie, is expected to meet with Timberwolves president of basketball operations David Kahn on Thursday in Chicago to discuss Rambis’ future with the franchise, a source said. Rambis, who’s in the second year of a four-year contract, has a 32-118 record in two seasons in Minnesota.