Now that Darvin Ham is officially the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers after being introduced in a press conference on Monday afternoon, his next order of business is assembling a coaching staff.
The Lakers are expected to give Ham a large autonomy to select his own staff, and it appears he is wasting no time getting to work on that.
According to a report on Tuesday morning, Ham is not expected to bring back current Lakers assistants David Fizdale, Mike Penberthy and John Lucas III.
Notably absent from that list is Phil Handy, who is known to be one of the best assistants and player development coaches in the league. The reason Handy wasn’t on that list is that Ham extended an offer to him to stay on staff, to which Handy has accepted, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
Phil Handy, one of the top assistants in the league, has accepted the invitation of new Los Angeles Lakers coach Darvin Ham to be a part of his coaching staff, league sources tell @YahooSports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 7, 2022
This represents great news for the Lakers as Ham looks to be off to a successful start assembling his staff. While Handy had previously said that he wants to be a head coach, there weren’t many openings this offseason so it makes sense to return to the Lakers for at least one more year.
According to Dave McMenamin and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Lakers will also be keeping Quinton Crawford on their staff:
Ham will assimilate assistant coaches Phil Handy and Quinton Crawford as holdovers from coach Frank Vogel’s staff, sources told ESPN.
Crawford is another former NBA player who coached on Frank Vogel’s staff both with the Lakers and Orlando Magic.
Wallace a candidate to join staff
With two assistants now in place, Ham only has a few openings left on his staff. One could possibly go to his former Detroit Pistons teammate Rasheed Wallace as Ham discussed that possibility during his introductory press conference.
“In regards to Rasheed, that’s an active situation. That’s fluid,” Ham said. “We’re still working through that. That’s not true at all, but he’s definitely a candidate that we’ll take a look at. But we’re working through that. We have a list of names and some people that’s currently under contract.
“We’re working with some very talented young coaches and we’re working through that to try to put together the best staff possible.”
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