Lakers Rumors: Nets Interested In Bringing In Assistant Phil Handy?
Phil Handy, Lakers
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have found their next head coach, reportedly agreeing to a four-year deal with Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham, who is getting his first head coaching opportunity. The biggest question now for Ham is the coaching staff he will assemble and whether any of the current Lakers’ assistants will be retained. One of the biggest of those assistants is Phil Handy.

Handy has long been revered as one of the best developmental coaches in the entire NBA and remains one of the most respected coaches in the league. Keeping someone like Handy would be great for a first-time coach like Ham, but other teams could be interested in bringing him on as well, most notably the Brooklyn Nets.

The Nets have a need in that position and Handy has a previous connection with Kyrie Irving from their time together in Cleveland. According to NBA reporter Marc Stein, a move to Brooklyn for Handy could be possible:

Great curiosity is already bubbling in coaching circles about the sort of staff Ham will assemble with the Lakers. Two primary questions: Will Ham indeed have the autonomy to make all the choices and will be David Fizdale be retained? And another: Will the Lakers keep highly rated developmental coach Phil Handy … or is Handy potentially Brooklyn-bound? The Nets have a need on the developmental side in the wake of Adam Harrington’s expected departure and Handy, remember, has a strong working history with Nets guard Kyrie Irving from their Cleveland days. If the Nets are bringing Irving back, having Handy on the staff to forge a stronger connection with him would be, well, handy.

There are a lot of factors that will go along with this, with the most important being the first question Stein asked in whether Ham will have true autonomy to select his coaching staff. It has been reported that Ham will indeed have that power, which would then lead to whether or not Ham wants to keep Handy around.

Handy does have a strong relationship with LeBron James as well and the universal praise the coach receives would seem to indicate he is worth having on the bench.

Should Handy want a change of scenery, however, or Ham has other plans, Brooklyn makes a lot of sense as a team who has plans on being back in championship contention, and with another strong previous connection for Handy to build on.

Lakers’ Phil Handy believes he’s ready to be a head coach

One thing Handy did not get was head coach consideration this offseason, even from the Lakers who did a long search, eventually landing on Ham. While Handy gets a ton of praise for his development work, he believes he is ready to run his own team.

Handy recently spoke on this saying he wants the opportunity to be a head coach and thinks he’s ready to do so. Unfortunately, that opportunity has yet to present itself for Handy, but if and when it does, he will be ready to jump on it.

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