The Los Angeles Lakers are on the verge of a franchise-record sixth successive trip to the draft lottery and it appears head coach Luke Walton will suffer the consequences.
The assumption within NBA coaching circles is that Walton will "almost certainly" be fired following the season, Marc Stein of the New York Times reports.
The Lakers sit 10th in the Western Conference with a 30-33 record and are 4 1/2 games back of the San Antonio Spurs for the final playoff spot with 19 games remaining. The team is 3-7 over its last 10 contests, including a debilitating loss Saturday to the league-worst Phoenix Suns.
Walton joined the Lakers in 2017 following three years as an assistant with the Golden State Warriors. The 38-year-old has guided the club to a cumulative 91-136 record.
The Lakers drafted Walton 32nd overall at the 2003 NBA Draft. He spent nine seasons with the team, winning back-to-back rings in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons.