Lakers Rumors: Mike Budenholzer, Kenny Atkinson, JJ Redick, Charles Lee & Tyronn Lue Viewed As ‘Top Candidates’
JJ Redick
(Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)

After the Los Angeles Lakers decided to part ways with Darvin Ham, they are embarking on another head coaching search to start this offseason.

This is an important one as the Lakers have not been able to find a permanent fix at head coach since Phil Jackson retired in 2011 and they are running out of time to get another championship in the LeBron James era.

With that being the case, the Lakers are unsurprisingly targeting coaching candidates with ties to James. While Jason Kidd is not available after signing an extension with the Dallas Mavericks, the Lakers have been linked to some other coaches that are familiar with LeBron and they appear to be firmly in the mix.

Among the top candidates currently are JJ Redick, Tyronn Lue, Mike Budenholzer, Kenny Atkinson and Charles Lee, as Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on FanDuel TV’s ‘Run It Back’ on Monday morning:

“An extensive coaching search is beginning most likely this week. The top candidates are Mike Budenholzer, former championship head coach of the Bucks, Kenny Atkinson, JJ Redick, Charles Lee and Ty Lue is really the big name if he’s available. Obviously the Clippers want to keep him, want to extend him. He has one year left on his deal with the Clippers but whoever the Lakers hire for this job, the task will be competing for a championship. Not the playoffs, not the Conference Finals, but a championship around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. This is one of the most high-power jobs in the league. A lot of expectations will be on whoever that next head coach is and really a lot of the things that the Lakers felt Darvin Ham just did not do at the highest of levels – rotations, adjustments, game plans. I think they’re gonna look for someone that can really command that locker room. So those are the names, the process begins likely this week.”

Lue and Redick are the two names that make sense when it comes to James. The former may not be obtainable due to his contract with the Clippers though, while the latter has no coaching experience of any kind.

So with that being the case, Budenholzer is the most experienced coach on the market. Atkinson also has a ton of experience both as an assistant and head coach with the Brooklyn Nets, while Lee is a long-time assistant that comes from Budenholzer’s coaching tree, similar to Ham.

It may be a while before the Lakers land on their next head coach, but it appears they are not wasting any time getting the search underway with top candidates already emerging.

While LeBron James’ opinion will be taken into consideration in the Lakers’ coaching search, his isn’t the only one as it was recently reported that they will speak with Anthony Davis as well. That makes sense considering he is the star in the organization that is signed long term and still in his prime.

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