Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “His input here is still super valuable,” said Bruce Fraser, a player development assistant.Wearing a navy suit and a gold patterned tie, Walton positioned himself Wednesday in his familiar seat, to Kerr’s left flank. When Klay Thompson buried a first quarter 3-pointer, Walton pumped his fist as if banging a gavel. Several possessions later, when Stephen Curry and Draymond Green mucked up a fast-break attempt and caused a turnover, Kerr threw up his hands and looked to Walton for an explanation.A former forward who played for the Lakers from 2003-12 and won a pair of championships with the organization, Walton has declined interviews since the Lakers announced he had been hired to replace Byron Scott. Walton does not want to give the slightest implication that he is at all distracted from the Warriors postseason run.Of course, it’s impossible for Walton to completely ignore his pending responsibilities. He has been talking to candidates to join his coaching staff, including former Lakers assistant Brian Shaw.Assembling a staff is one of the most important Lakers-related tasks facing Walton right now. May is not an especially busy month for the head coach of a non-playoff team. Note that the Lakers did not sign Byron Scott to a contract in 2014 until the end of July. But hiring a lead assistant – Shaw apparently remains Walton’s top choice – would give him a proxy at pre-draft workouts, a fact noted by NBA.com’s David Aldridge this week. Luke Walton stood on the outer edge of the huddle, bending his 6-foot-8 frame to listen as Steve Kerr gave the Golden State Warriors their final pregame instructions.Before Kerr finished, Walton peeled off from the group, and wandered toward center court, where he planted himself to be the last to give Warriors players high-fives and fist bumps as they took the floor for Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Wednesday night.Walton has no more than a dozen games left as a Warriors assistant, before this season ends either with a second championship or without, and he officially becomes the next coach of the Lakers.Until that time, Walton remains focused on his job in Oakland, advising Kerr on tactical adjustments, working with players and scrutinizing film. The Warriors are tied 1-1 in the best-of-seven series with the Oklahoma City Thunder, with Game 3 on Sunday. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said earlier this month that when he and Walton spoke, it was either early in the morning or late at night so Walton’s days could be “solely committed” to the Warriors.“At this time,” Kupchak said, “if he and I can speak for three or four minutes a day, or text once or twice, that’s a good day.”Walton will be stepping into a whole new dynamic with the Lakers, a young team still light on identity but bursting with potential. The roster is expected to be heavily revamped, and the team, which landed the No. 2 pick in the draft, will eventually need to hold workouts with Brandon Ingram and Ben Simmons.If these things are weighing on Walton, he has masked it well. Even around the colleagues who know him best.“That wouldn’t be Luke,” Fraser said. “I kind of laugh to myself that when he leaves here he’s going … He doesn’t lead you to believe it, but he’s been on the phone with Mitch and doing other things. But he’s pretty focused on finishing this out the right way.”The Warriors, however, have continued to have fun at Walton’s expense.Kerr captains a laid-back operation — into which Walton fits perfectly – and film session meetings often include footage of a Warriors blunder. A team with 73 wins makes just enough for it to be funny.After he was hired April 29, Walton walked into one such meeting during the Warriors second-round series against Portland, settled into his seat and watched as the first four clips were all of the dreadful Lakers.Walton’s new team.“The guys just go bananas,” assistant coach Ron Adams said. “We’re always kidding about that now.”There may have been no better opportunity for such teasing then on Tuesday, with the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals and the Lakers sweating out the draft lottery. The stakes were high. If the Lakers’ pick fell out of the top three, it would be sent to Philadelphia, depriving the Lakers of a much-needed asset.Walton mentioned to Adams that Warriors people should wish him luck. Adams shot back, “You’re a rival of ours. I hope you get the worst pick available.”Shortly before the draft positions were drawn in a hotel ballroom in New York, Warriors vice president of public relations Raymond Ridder sent Walton a text message saying that he had heard the terrible news. The Lakers, he told Walton, had fallen to fourth in the lottery.Walton quickly sent a panicked reply.Wait, what?The next message Walton received from Ridder, in his 14th year as a Warriors executive, was a series of smiling emojis. He’d been duped.Soon after, nearly 3,000 miles away, four pingpong balls were vacuumed, one by one, through the top of a glass drum.The combination of balls numbered 2, 3, 7 and 14 meant the Lakers would not only keep their draft selection in June, but pick second. It was the organization’s first win since Walton came on board.The new coach of the Lakers couldn’t spend much time celebrating, nor being sore over Ridder’s well-time prank.The Warriors had a game the next day.