Phil Handy Explains Decision To Leave Raptors For Lakers
(Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

Heading into the offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers are likely going to go through several changes both on and off the floor.

Half of the roster is heading into free agency, while the sidelines could see a shakeup as head coach Frank Vogel is heading into the last year of his deal while assistant coach Jason Kidd has already been linked to several head coaching vacancies.

One name expected to stay is Phil Handy, who has earned the respect and ear of the roster. Handy’s return to the Lakers has been a boon for the franchise and in an appearance on the “All The Smoke” podcast, Handy explained his decision to come back to Los Angeles the offseason after winning a championship with the Toronto Raptors:

“It was hard to leave Toronto, man. Toronto was…again, and even with Kawhi leaving I was locked in for three years. It was a hard decision to leave, but I think the biggest thing for me was I have an eight-year-old son who lives here in Los Angeles. Being able to be close to him that was the main priority.

“And obviously, look, the Lakers were putting together a championship-caliber team. And when I left the Lakers the first time, I had walked out of the building saying, ‘I want to come back here one day and be a coach at the front of the bench and I want to win a championship here.’ I left saying that. And to be able to come back and come to fruition and all things too…again, the championship-caliber piece was a part of it and do we have a team to compete coming back here. It was, again, that was another everything was kind of nicely wrapped but my son was the biggest part of that decision for me.”

It was a perfect situation for Handy to return to given his family and the roster the Lakers built, and it worked out for both sides as he was able to add another championship to his collection. Although most of Handy’s work happens behind the scenes, he is an integral part of the team and L.A. should do whatever it takes to keep him long-term.

Lakers expected to explore Kyle Lowry acquisition

Handy could be looking at another reunion as the Lakers will reportedly explore a move for Kyle Lowry in the summer.

There are hurdles in the way, but the Lakers were also linked to Lowry heavily at the trade deadline, so he’s clearly a player they’d like to pair with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

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