The Los Angeles Lakers are taking their time in finding the next head coach of the franchise but reportedly have narrowed their list down to three names. Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Darvin Ham, Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, and former Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts were rumored to be the finalists for the Lakers.
The Lakers initially interviewed a number of different candidates with a wide range of coaching experience and though it seemed as if things were getting closer to a conclusion, there may still be more names in consideration for the job.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Lakers’ list of coaches under consideration is wider than that reported finalist trio of Ham, Stotts and Atkinson:
There’s also this: One source close to the situation told me over the weekend that the list of coaches under consideration by the Lakers is “still wider” than the reported trio of Ham, Stotts and Atkinson.
Whether that means other prominent names could still emerge as factors in this search — or simply, as The Athletic reported Friday, that assistant coaches previously interviewed by the Lakers (Toronto’s Adrian Griffin and Milwaukee’s Charles Lee) will ultimately receive renewed consideration — will play out over coming days.
One name that the Lakers are known to have some interest in is Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers, so perhaps they are still holding out hope he could become available:
Suspicions persist in league coaching circles that the Lakers have not completely abandoned hope that Philadelphia’s Doc Rivers becomes unexpectedly available — despite the recent insistence from Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey that Rivers will be back in Philly next season.
The Lakers know that in order for things to turn around they must get the right coach in place so they must think long and hard and consider all possible options before making that final decision because once it’s done there is no turning back. The danger, however, is that they could lose out on one of their candidates if they take too long to come to a decision.
In the end, all that matters is that the Lakers make the right call with this coaching decision and if that requires them circling back to other candidates then they will do that to ensure they are getting the best available person for the job.
Juwan Howard declined interview for Lakers head coaching job
One name unlikely to be on that list is University of Michigan head coach Juwan Howard. The Lakers were reportedly interested and have many connections with Howard as he was a teammate of Rob Pelinka’s in their college days and played with LeBron James in Miami.
However, Howard declined the opportunity to interview for the Lakers job when the team approached him as he is happy staying at his alma mater, where he is also coaching his sons.
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