The Los Angeles Lakers’ seek for a brand new head coach — who can be tasked with turning across the franchise and overseeing the closing of LeBron James’ championship window — is gaining steam, albeit meticulously.
With the rumors percolating by the day, let’s take a second to spherical up what we all know to date.
Lakers Head Coaching Search Information
1) Lakers Head Coaching Search Timeline
At Rob Pelinka’s post-exit-interview press convention — the one time he’s spoken to the media since firing Frank Vogel — the Lakers vp of basketball operations and common supervisor indicated that he want to have a brand new skipper in place by the 2022 NBA Draft on June twenty third.
The Lakers are being purposefully deliberate with their course of, maybe within the case that at present employed names (Doc Rivers, Quin Snyder) turn into accessible. Yes, Daryl Morey stated Rivers can be again in 2023, however that doesn’t essentially imply he wouldn’t hearken to a commerce provide (Doc is reportedly below contract for a minimum of two extra years).
When Pelinka was requested about what qualities the Lakers can be on the lookout for of their subsequent head coach, he cited gravitas above all else.
“We just felt organizationally at the highest level it was time for a new voice…In terms of what this team needs right now, we feel like with, obviously, superstars on our team, we want a strong voice that’s able to inspire the players to play at the highest level of competition every night. And I think that’s gonna be one of the resounding qualities that we look for in terms of holding everybody — from the top player on our team to the 15th man — to a degree of accountability. And that’s going to be one of the many characteristics that jump out” (he didn’t specify every other standards).
Those feedback appear to suggest that the Lakers are in search of a candidate with a confirmed observe file as an NBA head coach and/or participant. As Kevin Pelton articulated in his roundup of promising teaching prospects when discussing Charles Lee: “A number of executives and coaches say that had Lee played one minute in the NBA (or had NBA bloodlines), he’d be gainfully employed as a head coach today. Such is the case in the NBA circa 2022, where owners and front offices increasingly favor those who have an NBA entry on Basketball-Reference.”
Stylistically, the Lakers might want to strike a steadiness between offense and protection. Vogel was a defensive-minded HC who oversaw Lakers top-ranked Ds for his first two seasons. Then, the Lakers swapped protection for offense, leading to a roster ill-fitting for Vogel. Because of what number of personnel questions exist heading into the summer season — particularly what to do with Russell Westbrook – the Lakers ought to rent the perfect candidate, then assemble a roster based mostly on his or her strengths.
3) Lakers Head Coaching Candidates
As it stands, the Lakers have interviewed or requested to interview six candidates, although they’ve been linked to extra.
- Terry Stotts, a revered offensive tactician who achieved a .558 win proportion and convention finals berth in 9 seasons helming the Portland Trail Blazers.
- Mark Jackson, who went 121-109 with the Golden State Warriors from 2011-14. Despite not being a Klutch shopper and burning bridges on his manner out of Golden State as a result of a bevy of problematic incidents, Jackson has the help of Rich Paul and LeBron James.
- Adrian Griffin, a former professional ahead who has turn into a key assistant with the Toronto Raptors.
- Darvin Ham, who performed within the NBA for eight seasons and has been a highly-regarded assistant since 2008, together with with the Lakers from 2011-13. Ham has labored below Mike Budenholzer with the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks and has interviewed for quite a few head jobs. According to The Athletic, Ham and Stotts are the “closest to current favorites” to get the job.
- Charles Lee, who has additionally served below Budenholzer since 2014. The 37-year-old is prepared to run a crew and has been a finalist for openings with the Washington Wizards and New Orleans Pelicans. Per Pelton: “Lee has established himself as a multitool coach who projects confidence, emotional and tactical intelligence and affability. Colleagues marvel at his ability to relate to everyone, be it a two-way player…to an owner (he worked as a trader on Wall Street).”
- Kenny Atkinson, who did an outstanding job with the Brooklyn Nets earlier than Kyrie Irving determined he didn’t need an actual coach. Atkinson has labored alongside Ty Lue then Steve Kerr over the previous two seasons. He’s a quintessential hoops junkie with a lauded work ethic, acumen, and participant growth abilities.
Names like Rivers, Snyder, and Nick Nurse, have been talked about, although all three — who’re below contract — have shot down the hypothesis. Utah Jazz assistant Ryan Jensen, Russell Westbrook’s ally Scott Brooks, and veteran honcho Steve Clifford are among the many names to have surfaced, as properly.
As for outside-the-box concepts: Recent former Lakers comparable to Rajon Rondo (an aspirant head coach) or Jared Dudley (teaching in Dallas), or a university heavy-hitter like Dawn Staley, John Calipari, or Jay Wright would make a significant splash. Don’t fret, Lakers followers: Phil Jackson and Kurt Rambis usually are not candidates.
Interestingly, the Lakers don’t appear to be contemplating anyone on their present employees, together with participant growth guru Phil Handy (who desires to be a head coach and interviewed for the Wizards job), former Memphis Grizzlies and New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale, Quinton Crawford, who coached the Lakers Summer League squad in 2021, nor Miles Simon, who loved a stellar marketing campaign stewarding the South Bay Lakers in 2021-22.
Speaking of assistants, the Lakers, as of now, haven’t made any adjustments to their employees. If you’d assume a brand new coach would come together with his or her crop of underlings, suppose once more. In addition to low-balling coaches, the Lakers haven’t allowed latest head coaches to fill out their staffs with “their guys.”
It’s onerous to pinpoint the exact influence of assistant coaches outdoors of anecdotes right here and there. But, the Lakers employees, as a complete, indisputably underperformed in 2021-22 and personally clashed with Russell Westbrook. Last summer season, the Lakers made a slew of mysterious teaching choices, together with letting Brooks go to Portland and a falling out with Lionel Hollins within the wake of Jason Kidd’s departure.
There are a handful of the explanation why the Lakers’ employees ought to look totally different subsequent season. On the opposite hand, any continuity is welcome.
Jackson is consulting on the search. Jeanie may also obtain enter from (a minimum of) Magic Johnson, LeBron James, Anthony Davis Rich Paul, and the C-Suite — Pelinka, the Rambii, Tim Harris, Joey and Jesse Buss.
I consider crucial query going through the Lakers over the following half-decade is how the decision-making hierarchy types out, particularly as soon as LeBron’s watch is over, and Jeanie and Rob have made a concerted effort to reclaim their standing as the highest decision-makers because the season ended.
The imminent head teaching rent would be the first clue to how the Lakers will function within the years to come back — and the primary main indicator of how they plan on turning this entire factor round.
Lakers Head Coaching Search Prediction: I feel the Lakers will rent a former participant and first-time head coach, comparable to Ham or Lee, then add an skilled frontman and well-regarded schemer like Stotts as a lead assistant/offensive coordinator.