Report: LeBron James and Tyronn Lue interested in adding Tom Thibodeau to Lakers staff

Jack BaerYahoo Sports Contributor

All signs are pointing to Tyronn Lue becoming the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, right down to the birthday cake.

Already reported to be possibly following Lue to Los Angeles is former Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic head coach Frank Vogel, who could join Lue’s staff as his lead assistant. However, it sounds like Lue and LeBron James are also interested in another former head coach.

Could Tom Thibodeau join the Lakers as an assistant?

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According to Frank Isola of The Athletic, Lue and James are reportedly quite interested in the idea of Thibodeau joining the Lakers coaching staff:

The reports of Lue wanting to add his former colleague in Boston, Tom Thibodeau, to his coaching staff are also true. LeBron, through intermediaries, has let it be known that Thibodeau would be a huge asset to have on the bench. LeBron’s close associates were gauging Thibodeau’s interest in becoming a top assistant two weeks ago. It would be similar to the role Mike Brown and Ron Adams serve under Steve Kerr in Golden State.

In addition to Lue’s experience with Thibodeau in the Celtics organization, James also has experience with Thibodeau through the latter’s work as an assistant coach with USA basketball.

Isola cautions that Thibodeau might take his time finding his next coaching job thanks to his track record, and “the feeling” is that the veteran would prefer a head coaching job. Still, it might be hard to say no when James comes calling.

It’s unclear if James’ gauging Thibodeau’s interest in a top assistant gig would interfere with the hiring of Vogel. Both Thibodeau and Vogel are more known for their defensive coaching and might not work as assistants on the same staff.

Would Tom Thibodeau really accept an assistant coaching gig? (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Would Tom Thibodeau really accept an assistant coaching gig? (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Be it Vogel and/or Thibodeau, the Lakers looked in dire need of a defensive reboot during their second-half collapse last season, though the absence of Lonzo Ball might have played a part in that. Some star impending free agents could help, but the team’s new coaching staff will be crucial.

Even ignoring Vogel, adding Thibodeau might be an odd culture fit with James, but James would obviously have incentive to make it work if he was the one who pushed for the coach.

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