Walton: I fully expect to be coaching Lakers next season

Luke Walton fully expects to be back coaching LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers next NBA season.

Reports have surfaced that the Lakers are planning to fire their third-year head coach after Los Angeles failed to reach the playoffs again this term.

However, Walton believes he will still be in charge of the Lakers in 2019-20.

"I fully expect to be coaching this team again next season," Walton told The Athletic.

The Lakers are reportedly considering former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue if they axe Walton this offseason. 

They have also been linked to Rick Carlisle and Jason Kidd.

Walton, 39, said he was not focusing on the speculation.

"I just view it as outside noise," Walton said. "Unless someone from within our group is telling me that, I just view it like all the other things we've gone through as a team this year. Those are things that I don't have the time to worry about.

"I've got more important things to do like getting the team better and doing my job."

James left the Cavaliers and signed a four-year, $153.3million contract with the Lakers last July. But, the Lakers have struggled and are already out of playoff contention.

"There's different rumours and everything else," Walton said. "Unless some kind of information comes from someone within our organisation, I don't pay attention to it and I don't concern myself with the rumours."

Los Angeles entered play against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday with a 33-41 record.

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