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The Lakers continue their head coaching search but have already interviewed one candidate and have two more intriguing meetings coming up soon.
It’s going to be a busy offseason for the Los Angeles Lakers, mostly by necessity. With LeBron James nearing 40 years old and after the team missed out on the playoffs (even the play-in tournament) this past season, there’s much work to be done.
But before the Lakers hopefully find a trade partner to take Russell Westbrook or find ways to improve the roster, they have to find the man to guide the ship. Namely, they have to find their next head coach after parting ways with Frank Vogel in unceremonious fashion after the 2021-22 season.
Potential head coaching candidates have been thrown out in droves since the final game of the year for Los Angeles but the list is becoming slightly more concrete. Most recently, the Lakers reportedly interviewed former Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts and have other interviews set with Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson and Bucks assistant Darvin Ham.
Lakers interviewing Terry Stotts, Kenny Atkinson, Darvin Ham for head coaching job
This is quite an array of candidates, all of whom offer their own bit of intrigue.
Stotts, who parted ways with Portland after the 2020-21 season as the franchise needed a change, made the playoffs eight straight years with the Trail Blazers prior to his departure. While the postseason success may not have been abundant, getting there is more than the Lakers can say and, with the right personnel moves, he’s proven he can guide superstar talent well.
Atkinson also has head coaching experience, serving in that role for the Nets from 2016-20 before resigning. He only made the playoffs once over that span, but his two years as an assistant with the Clippers and Warriors could provide him with added perspective as he remains an attractive candidate league-wide.
As for Ham, he is the least experienced and youngest of the trio of interviews, but he has spent nearly a decade working under Mike Budenholzer both with the Hawks and now the Bucks.
All three candidates have seen success in varying manners over their careers and would provide a fresh voice in the locker room that the Lakers need. Having said that, Vogel had success in Indiana and couldn’t guide LA properly. It’s an entirely different challenge with LeBron, Anthony Davis and the spotlight this team is under, so any of these three or another candidate will surely have their work cut out for them upon their arrival.