With the NBA Playoffs in full swing and other teams that have been eliminated already moved on to the offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers are one of three teams in the thick of searches for a new head coach.
The Lakers have made it clear that they will take their time to find a replacement for Frank Vogel, but the interview process is underway and they have already spoken with some potential candidates.
It was first reported earlier in the week that the Lakers requested and received permission to interview Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham.
The Lakers then expressed interest in another assistant, requesting an interview with Adrian Griffin of the Toronto Raptors.
Rob Pelinka stated during his end-of-the-season press conference that they are looking for someone with past head coaching experience though, so the expectation is that more candidates will be interviewed in the coming days and weeks.
If the Lakers are looking for someone with past head coaching experience then one potential candidate is Terry Stotts, who coached the Portland Trail Blazers from 2012-21. It appears the Lakers have some interest as Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN is reporting that they interviewed him this week:
The Lakers interviewed former Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts for the franchise’s coaching job this week, sources tell ESPN. Stotts made the playoffs in eight straight seasons with Blazers, including two trips to conference semifinals and a berth in conference finals.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 7, 2022
As Wojnarowski mentioned, Stotts had the Trail Blazers to the postseason in eight straight seasons, although they never quite got over the hump with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, which led to his dismissal in what they called a mutual parting of ways last summer.
Stotts also had shorter head coaching stints with the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks although did not have as much success in either of those two places as Portland.
While the Lakers have requested and received permission to interview other candidates, Stotts is the first reported candidate to actually meet with them to this point.
Ham considered finalists for Hornets job
One of the other teams looking for a head coach is the Charlotte Hornets, and they seem to be further along in their process.
It was recently reported that Ham is one of the finalists for their vacancy along with former Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni. Ham is also a candidate for the Lakers job, so if they have serious interest in him then they may need to act quickly or risk losing him to Charlotte.
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