Darvin Ham Believes ‘Without Question’ That Lakers Can Win Championship In 2023-24
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

After the 2021-22 NBA season, news broke right after the final game that former coach Frank Vogel had been fired. The Los Angeles Lakers would then go on an expansive coaching search before ultimately landing on Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Darvin Ham.

Ham would inherit a top-heavy roster with LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, and things weren’t going to plan with the Lakers starting with a 2-10 record.

But eventually, the Lakers’ famous trade deadline happened and changed the whole trajectory of the team when the front office brought in pieces that fit around the two stars in Davis and James. The Lakers had a 27-16 record post-trades and proved to be a serious team.

The Lakers went into the playoffs as the seventh seed after winning the Play-In Tournament game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. They then out the two-seed Memphis Grizzlies and then an explosive offensive team in the Golden State Warriors before getting swept in the Western Conference Finals by the Denver Nuggets. Despite the sweep, Ham remains enthusiastic about the team’s capability to win it all after a successful offseason in which they continued to improve, via Mark Medina of The Sporting Tribune

“Hell yeah; without question. “That’s what we’re in it for,” Ham told The Sporting Tribune. “We’re about winning around here and winning big. It’s not just about, ‘Hey we made the playoffs.’ We’re trying to get to that
pinnacle and conquer it.”

The Lakers are currently tied with the Boston Celtics for the most championships in the league at 17, so there’s no doubt they would like to be the first ones to get 18. To increase their chances, the front office brought in players like Gabe Vincent and Taurean Prince, who are experienced and capable rotational players, while retaining Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura.

Ham was pleased with the Lakers’ offseason, speaking to the importance of keeping their core together:

“Rightfully so, but our franchise has that tag of chasing down stars and trying to acquire the best possible talent across the board. But sometimes I think the way the game is trending, it’s all about cohesiveness,” Ham said. “It’s not just about winning right now. It’s about being able to win right now and have sustainability pieces.”

Around the league, the consensus has been that the Lakers are one of the biggest winners in this free agency period with their value signings for the newcomers and retaining the key pieces of the core. While the big names of Damian Lillard and James Harden are out there, Ham echoed Rob Pelinka in saying that keeping the team together and building cohesion is best for contending for a championship.

With James and Davis having player options after the 2023-24 season, the Lakers’ championship window could be closing. Despite that, Ham believes this roster is built to achieve the goal of getting No. 18.

Christian Wood & Bismack Biyombo in consideration for 14th roster spot

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka is still in the market for one more big man and the two names that the team is looking at reportedly are Christian Wood and Bismack Biyombo.

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