The Los Angeles Lakers are in the final stages of their head coaching search as they have seemingly narrowed their list down to a few candidates.
Even though reports have come out suggesting their pool of candidates is wider, it feels like Darvin Ham, Terry Stotts and Kenny Atkinson are the most likely options for the Lakers. All three have a strong case for the job and are scheduled to meet with the Lakers’ decision-makers soon.
Of the three, it looks like Stotts got the first meeting with the team in Los Angeles, via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
ESPN Sources: The Lakers interviewed former Blazers coach Terry Stotts for franchise’s head coaching job in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Two more assistants will meet with LA in near future — Golden State’s Kenny Atkinson and Milwaukee’s Darvin Ham.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 25, 2022
In an interesting wrinkle, Stotts is reportedly interested in coaching Russell Westbrook should he remain on the roster for the 2022-23 season, via Mark Medina of NBA.com:
Terry Stotts is intrigued with potentially coaching Russell Westbrook and believes he can help him be more effective and comfortable with his role than he was last season https://t.co/IhmHHBss0m
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) May 25, 2022
Stotts has experience coaching high-usage point guards as he had a successful run with the Portland Trail Blazers and Damian Lillard. Lillard and Westbrook play entirely different styles, but Stotts — who is known for his offensive acumen — would be a good choice to lead the Lakers should they prioritize finding ways to make Westbrook effective.
This report lines up with previous ones noting that the Lakers have been asking candidates how they would utilize Westbrook , a sign that the point guard’s return is more likely than originally thought.
As of now, there has not been much traction on a potential Westbrook deal unless the Lakers are willing to part with future draft assets, so if someone like Stotts was offered the job they would most likely need to find ways to incorporate the guard.
Terry Stotts not interested in lead assistant job
Stotts may have gotten the first in-person interview, but all signs still point to Darvin Ham being the prohibitive favorite to land with the Lakers. Should that happen, Stotts would make for a great lead assistant, although he is reportedly not interested in that position.
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