Lakers Head Coaching Rumors: Sam Cassell A ‘Legitimate Candidate’
Sam Cassell
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers’ first move in the offseason is to figure out who their next head coach will be.

Despite consecutive playoff appearances, former head coach Darvin Ham was let go of his duties and the Lakers have since begun their search for his replacement. So far, the team has reportedly started the interview process as they recently obtained permission to interview several assistant coaches around the league for the role.

Names like David Adelman, Micha Nori and James Borrego have been linked to Los Angeles, as well as Boston Celtics assistant Sam Cassell.

Cassell and the Celtics have already qualified for the Eastern Conference Finals and are awaiting the winner of the series between the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers.

Although Cassell hasn’t received as much fanfare as the other reported candidates, he is apparently considered a legitimate option for the Lakers, via NBA insider Marc Stein:

“Cassell is a legitimate candidate to watch here, league sources say. He is not only represented by Klutch Sports — which is the same agency, of course, that represents Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis — but Cassell is known to have a particularly good knack in the locker room when it comes to connecting with star players.”

However, should Los Angeles pass on Cassell, he could wind up back with Milwaukee Bucks head coach Doc Rivers:

Also circulating in Chicago: League sources say Rivers plans to make an aggressive push to bring Cassell onto his staff in Milwaukee if the former three-time NBA ring-winner as a player does not get the Lakers’ job. Cassell is currently in his first season in Boston as part of Joe Mazzulla’s staff but has coached under Rivers in nine of his 15 seasons on NBA benches.

Cassell’s main drawing point is his championship pedigree, but his ability to relate to and work with superstars also bolsters his case. LeBron James and Anthony Davis will have a say in who the Lakers wind up going with for their next head coach, and it stands to reason that they would support the hire of a former player like Cassell.

JJ Redick considered early favorite for Lakers head coaching job

While Sam Cassell is a viable option for the job, the early rumblings are that JJ Redick is considered the early favorite to land in L.A. While Redick doesn’t have NBA coaching experience, his relationship with James gives him a leg up on the competition for the Lakers.

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