NBA: Lakers' Walton reportedly will finish season

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(Reuters) — Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton “will definitely finish the season,” a source close to the situation told the Los Angeles Times. Walton’s status has been a topic of discussion among fans and the media as the Lakers have slid to 28-29 in an injury-plagued season.

But the Times on Wednesday cited sources saying Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka agree that Walton should coach the rest of the season.

Walton is in his third season with the Lakers, finishing 26-56 in 2016-17 and 35-47 in 2017-18 with young rosters. The addition of superstar LeBron James in the offseason raised expectations, but injuries to James, as well as point guards Rajon Rondo and Lonzo Ball, among others, have helped put Los Angeles on the outside of the playoff picture with 25 games to go.

ESPN reported in late January that James’ camp would prefer a coaching change. Recent results — such as a 136-94 loss at Indiana on Feb. 5, a 23-point loss at Philadelphia on Sunday and Tuesday’s setback at Atlanta — have increased speculation about Walton’s leadership.