Darvin Ham may have been the Los Angeles Lakers’ unanimous choice to become their next head coach, but now comes the hard part.
Rob Pelinka and the front office need to build a roster that is tailored to how he wants to play. Fortunately, they have pillars in LeBron James and Anthony Davis to build around, which means there should be a clear focus on perimeter defense and outside shooting.
Pelinka and Ham will need to work closely together to make sure they bring in the right players, and the Laker general manager emphasized that will be the case in the summer, assuring that changes will be made in an interview with Spectrum SportsNet:
“It starts with a collaboration between the general manager and the head coach and just a vision alignment. He wants to play a certain way and today is his first day on the job so I can’t wait to just roll up our sleeves with him, start our war room meetings, our debates about what skills we want to bring to the table, what players we do. But rest assured, there will be changes to our roster, we have to be better than what we were last year. Lakers fans deserve that and we will find the right players that align with his system and his philosophy and vision for how the team is gonna play next year.”
Organizational alignment is the key for any team that hopes to win, and it sounds like Pelinka is clear on this. Los Angeles has limited means to acquire impactful players, so Pelinka will need to get creative in the draft and the trade market to build out a winning roster.
Ham spent most of his assistant coaching tenure with Mike Budenholzer, so it is fair to assume that he will be bringing over the same schematic principles on both ends of the floor. Ham already mentioned that he is going to implement a “four-out, one-in” offense, which means Pelinka needs to scour the market for more shooters.
Darvin Ham calls Anthony Davis key to Lakers’ revival
Even if Pelinka manages to restock the roster with capable players, the Lakers’ title chances hinge on the play of Davis who has struggled to stay healthy the past two seasons. When available and engaged, Davis is a two-way force that can change the game.
Ham has worked with several stars during his coaching career, so it was not surprising to hear him call Davis the key to L.A.’s revival as championship contenders.
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