Could Kevin Ollie make the jump from college to the NBA this summer?
According to SNY.tv, Ollie is interested in the Lakers job, though he may be looking for more than just a role as the team’s head coach.
“Of course he is interested,” a source told SNY.tv. “He is from Crenshaw.”
Ollie, 43, went to Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles and was linked to the Lakers’ head coaching job when Mike D’Antoni was let go in 2014.
He also played for the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2009-10 and has close ties with Kevin Durant who is set to become a free agent this summer.
However, Ollie has what is probably his dream job at UConn – or at least one of them – and so it would take a lot for him to leave his current situation.
Ollie even went on the record earlier this week and told ESPN’s Andy Katz that “he will always listen if called but it would take ‘something very special’ to pull him away from UConn.”
That “something very special” is possibly the chance to coach the Lakers on a decent salary and also have some input when it comes to the team’s personnel decisions, per SNY.tv.
“He’s gotta be involved in player personnel decisions,” a source told the website. “Mitch Kupchak has to be willing to involve him in player personnel. He has to have a say-so in that.”
So far, the Lakers have been unwilling to relinquish any kind of player personnel power to head coaching candidates.
However, would the Lakers be willing to let Ollie have a say if they really wanted him? It doesn’t look like Ollie is seeking the kind of power that Tom Thibodeau got in Minnesota, so Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak would likely be able to stay in their current roles of head of basketball operations and general manager, respectively.
Jeanie Buss has stated that Jim and Mitch have previously felt that they have all the tools they need to make decisions – that includes Ryan West (director of player personnel) and Jesse Buss (assistant general manager/director of scouting) – so it would be surprising to see them bring in another voice such as Ollie’s at this stage.