Former Cleveland Cavaliers manager Ty Lue and Rob Pelinka, general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers, met on Friday for about 90 minutes to discuss the vacancy of the franchise coach, ESPN sources said.
The conversation was described as relaxed and broad, a prelude to what the Lakers want to last longer, and more in-depth discussions with top candidate Lue and Philadelphia 76ers assistant, Monty Williams, as soon as next week, sources in the league said.
Pelinka plans to interview Miami Heat Assistant Juwan Howard on Tuesday.
The Lakers have invited Lue and Williams to a meeting with owners and executives, including owner Jeanie Buss. Pelinka's meeting with Lue was similar in form and tone to his visit to Williams on Tuesday in Philadelphia.
Although the Lakers want to have second interviews in Los Angeles next week, the logistics of a second meeting with Williams is likely to depend on the status of the Sixers' play-off series against the US Brooklyn Nets. It is possible that the Lakers leadership is traveling to meet with Williams in the East.
Lue reached the NBA final three times and won a championship in 2016 as coach of the Cavaliers. He was fired shortly after the start of the 2018-19 season.
Williams returned to coaching as Brett Brown's top assistant this season. The last two years he spent after the death of his wife Ingrid early 2016 in the front office of San Antonio Spurs.
Williams left the Oklahoma City Thunder as an associate head coach after the death of his wife. He and his children moved to San Antonio, where Williams had expanded his family.
Prior to joining the Thunder, Williams coached the New Orleans Pelicans for five seasons. He reached the playoffs in his first season (2010-11) and his last (2014-15). Williams coached Anthony Davis and maintains a close relationship with him. Davis has applied for a deal in New Orleans and considers the Lakers a preferred target. He may be a free agent in 2020.