Lakers Rumors: Chris Jent Joining Charles Lee’s Staff On Hornets
Chris Jent, Lakers
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Following a first-round exit in the 2024 NBA Playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers fired head coach Darvin Ham and his coaching staff, including Phil Handy and Chris Jent.

The writing was on the wall for Ham as he seemingly lost the locker room after several questionable lineup choices and poor in-game management, including some head-scratching decisions in the playoffs. Although Los Angeles likely wouldn’t have won a title with their roster, Ham didn’t do himself any favors over the course of the 2023-24 season after unnecessarily tinkering with things that came at the detriment of the team’s success.

The Lakers are currently in the midst of their head coaching search that features several names like JJ Redick, Micah Nori and David Adelman. The team is expected to take their time sifting through candidates, though they’ll likely have a new head coach in place before the 2024 NBA Draft takes place in June.

Around the league, teams like the Charlotte Hornets have already found their next head coach as they hired former Phoenix Suns lead assistant Charles Lee. Lee is building out his own staff and has reportedly recruited Jent to join him, via Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer:

Jent came along with Ham when the latter was first hired as the two spent time together on the Atlanta Hawks’ coaching staff under Mike Budenholzer. Prior to that, Jent spent time as an assistant on teams like the Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic.

During his time in Los Angeles, Jent was Ham’s lead assistant mainly responsible for the offensive scheme and figures to work in collaboration with Lee in Charlotte. It’s a solid job for someone like Jent, who won’t face the same sort of organizational pressure to win immediately like he did with the Lakers.

Former Lakers head coach Darvin Ham expected to be candidate elsewhere in future

In Darvin Ham’s defense, he faced enormous expectations to win in Los Angeles as a first-time head coach. Like players, certain coaches need time to develop and Ham never really got the opportunity to do that with a Los Angeles team hell-bent on winning another title.

Despite his unceremonious ending with the Lakers, Ham is expected to be a head coaching candidate elsewhere down the line.

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