While the NBA Playoffs are currently in full swing, the Los Angeles Lakers are unfortunately focused on other business.
After a disappointing season in which they missed the postseason altogether, the Lakers decided to part ways with head coach Frank Vogel, meaning they currently have a vacancy to fill.
Rob Pelinka said the Lakers will take their time and do their due diligence before landing on a new head coach, although some candidates have already begun to emerge.
It seems that the Lakers have Nick Nurse at the top of their list, but he is still under contract with the Toronto Raptors and recently shot down rumors of going to L.A., so landing him seems extremely unlikely.
Some other candidates that the Lakers have reported interest in are Quin Snyder and Darvin Ham. Are either of them the right man for the job though, or are there other candidates that would be a better fit? That is what our staff debated in the latest Lakers Nation Roundtable, discussing who the next head coach of the Lakers should be:
Trevor Lane (@Trevor_Lane):
The Lakers have a big decision to make for their next head coach after a less-than-ideal handling of Frank Vogel’s departure. Darvin Ham is certainly an intriguing candidate that I’d be pleased with, but if forced to choose, I’d go with Quin Snyder of the Utah Jazz.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Lakers’ coaching search became news the day after Utah’s (and Toronto’s) playoff exit, and Snyder’s offensive system could provide the off-ball movement we haven’t seen in L.A. in the last decade.
Questions fairly persist about Snyder’s role in Utah’s continued playoff struggles but he’s the best coach for the job that has experience, which may be a prerequisite for the Lakers. Unless, of course, Nick Nurse surprisingly becomes available.
Corey Hansford (@TheeCoreyH):
While I would not be opposed to hiring someone like Quin Snyder, I truly believe that Darvin Ham should be the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Aside from having head coaching experience, Ham checks every other box. He has previous ties with the Lakers organization, having served as an assistant under Phil Jackson and Mike Brown from 2011-2013. He also has been part of championship teams both as a player with the Detroit Pistons in 2004 and as an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks last season.
The recent success of new head coaches around the league should open the Lakers’ eyes about giving a first-time coach a shot. The likes of Ime Udoka, Willie Green and Taylor Jenkins are thriving right now and Ham could be the next in line.
It’s time for new faces and ideas and Ham is the perfect candidate to bring the Lakers back to the top.
Matthew Peralta (@_MatthewPeralta):
From the names that have been linked to the Lakers, I think Darvin Ham would be the most worthwhile candidate for their head coaching vacancy. Ham has previous experience as an assistant with the organization and has been a part of several playoff runs with the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks.
Ham also brings championship experience as both a player and coach, further strengthening his resume. The Lakers have been prone to hiring retreads, but bringing in Ham would be the best of both worlds as they get someone with connections to the franchise as well as a shot on someone new. Ham has already interviewed for other head coaching gigs, but it would be in L.A.’s best interest to take a shot on him now.
Sean Davis (@Sean_Davi):
There have been several names mentioned as candidates for the Lakers’ vacant head coaching position. I’ve been campaigning for my favorite candidate since January when the rumblings began that Frank Vogel was likely to be fired — Darvin Ham.
Ham was an assistant coach for the Lakers during the 2011-2013 seasons and has been instrumental to the Bucks’ success in recent years. He’s also been largely credited for the Bucks’ revamped offense, which has helped lead them to becoming NBA Champions last season.
I’m confident that Ham could help guide the Lakers to a potential championship, not only next season, but in the post-LeBron era as well.
Daniel Starkand (@DStarkand):
I think my colleagues brought up some great candidates as I would be more than happy with either Snyder or Ham. To bring another candidate’s name into attention though, I think current Lakers assistant Phil Handy would make a great head coach and is someone the Lakers should seriously consider.
The work Handy has done in player development is well-documented, but the relationships he has built with players and his ability to communicate with them because of it is something I think the Lakers sorely need right now.
Plus, Handy is already familiar with how things work in the Lakers organization and his connections around the league would help him put together an outstanding staff around him.
Handy is going to get a head coaching opportunity sooner rather than later, and if it’s not with the Lakers, then they risk losing him for the organization altogether which would be less than ideal.
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