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Luke Walton signs contract to become the Lakers' new head coach

Luke Walton signs contract to become the Lakers' new head coach
Luke Walton coaches the Golden State Warriors against the Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., on Jan. 8. (Steve Dykes / Associated Press)

Luke Walton and the Lakers agreed to a deal Thursday night, paving the way for him to become the next head coach of the team.

Walton, 36, reportedly has a five-year deal worth about $25 million. The first four years of the deal are guaranteed.

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Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak is scheduled to meet with the media at 1 p.m. Friday to discuss the hiring of Walton.

Walton, in his second season as an assistant coach with NBA champion Golden State, will not take over the Lakers until the Warriors are done with the playoffs. The Warriors have a 2-0 lead over the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference semifinals. Game 3 is set for Saturday night in Portland.

When Golden State Coach Steve Kerr was out at the start of this season, recovering from back surgery, Walton took over and led the Warriors to a 39-4 record that included an NBA-best 24-0 start.

But under NBA rules, Walton didn't get any of the wins. They all went to Kerr.

However, that set the stage for Walton to become a wanted commodity among NBA teams in the market for a coach.

Walton will take over a Lakers team that had a franchise-worst 17-65 record last season under Byron Scott, who was fired.

As a player, Walton won two NBA championships with the Lakers, in 2009 and 2010, and was popular with their fans.

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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