Should The Lakers Hire Nick Nurse To Replace Darvin Ham?
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Darvin Ham’s first year as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers has certainly seen its fair share of ups and downs.

Ham oversaw the Lakers’ 2-10 start to the 2022-23 campaign, inciting panic among the fanbase. However, since the trade deadline, Los Angeles has been one of the best teams in the NBA and are currently in the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies.

While getting to the postseason is a major accomplishment for Ham, there are still several questions about his long-term viability as the franchise’s head coach. Although he’s an excellent motivator and leader, his in-game management has left much to be desired and has been a source of frustration for those watching the team.

It would be hard to imagine the Lakers cutting bait with Ham as they signed him to a four-year deal in the offseason, but things change rapidly in the NBA. To that effect, there might be some intrigue from Los Angeles to look at someone like Nick Nurse whom they were heavily linked to during their head coaching search last year.

After the Lakers fired Frank Vogel, Nurse was one of the top names connected to the team despite him having one year left on his deal with the Toronto Raptors. Even Nurse was caught off guard by the rumors, dismissing them and saying he was focused on coaching Toronto.

There’s no denying that Nurse is a brilliant X’s and O’s person, leading the Raptors to an NBA championship in his first year as a head coach. He’s gained a reputation around the league for trying exotic schemes, and that type of ingenuity isn’t lost on teams.

However, it would be disingenuous to not praise Ham for the job he’s done to turn the Lakers’ season around. Some might point to the players being the reason for their success, but Ham has had a large part in getting Los Angeles back to the postseason after missing it last year.

Despite Ham’s progress, some might call for the purple and gold to at least gauge Nurse’s interest in the job. However, that might be a fool’s errand as Nurse could very well be back up on his feet soon with the Houston Rockets already showing interest, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

In all likelihood, the Lakers stick it out with Ham and hope for improved results going forward.

Masai Ujiri says Lakers can dream about hiring Nick Nurse as head coach

Nurse would’ve made for an excellent head coach in Los Angeles, especially given he’d be working with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. However, it always seemed far-fetched given his contract status at the time which even prompted a jab from Masai Ujiri at the end of last season.

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