D’Antoni resigned from his position on Wednesday.
The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to plan a draw-out and extensive search for their replacement for Mike D’Antoni, but want to “make a splash” with their appointment.
Lakers officials are reportedly set to target two of the biggest names in the college game in the upcoming months, with both UConn’s Kevin Ollie and Kentucky’s John Calipari said to be on their radar.
However, the franchise’s objectives are to initially focus on the draft and free agency and hold back on appointing a new coach until they get a better sense of the marketplace, according to an ESPN source.
In addition, it is reported that they are willing to leave the coaching position open in the short term just in case a possible free-agent target such as LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony shows an interest in joining the organisation in July, and would then become a part of the process of selecting a new coach.
Meanwhile, it is understood that former Lakers star Derek Fisher could also come into consideration if he calls time on his playing career this summer and makes the immediate move into coaching, and given his relationship with those at the franchise, he could become a serious contender.
Nevertheless, for now the Lakers are keen to stress that they are in no rush to appoint their next coach, and will likely discuss the situation with Kobe Bryant moving forward despite sources claiming that he is not currently involved in the process.
Having signed a new two-year deal worth $48.5m which begins next season, the veteran star will return from his Achilles tendon injury and will undoubtedly want a say in who his final coach in the NBA will be.