The Los Angeles Lakers came into the 2021-22 NBA season as one of the favorites to win a title.
When it was all said and done, the team failed to even make the postseason.
Understandably, Frank Vogel’s head was the first to roll for last year’s disappointment.
Now the question becomes: who will replace him?
According to NBA insider Sean Deveney, the Lakers as a group are currently split between two big-name candidates.
“Most of the front office, it seems, has zeroed in on [Darvin] Ham, with former head coaches Terry Stotts (Portland) and Kenny Atkinson (Brooklyn) also in the mix,” wrote Deveney.
“Ham was briefly an assistant with the Lakers, and according to league sources, he is the favorite of the Phil Jackson-Kurt Rambis layer of Lakers decision-makers.
“’I think those guys want a young coach they can mold a little bit,’ one Western Conference executive told Heavy.com. ‘I do not think Darvin is a pushover by any means. I just think that they want a guy they can point in the direction they want to go, more traditional basketball, using Russell Westbrook a certain way.’
“And the [Doc] Rivers rumors? Seems the players, and perhaps general manager Rob Pelinka, too, would rather see an experienced, win-now coach on the sidelines. ‘If LeBron could pick,’ the executive said, ‘it’s pretty certain he’d pick Doc.’”
The Lakers are a mess, through and through. Scottie Pippen recently offered a very concise explanation as to what plagues the franchise.
It’s a fixable problem, but one that will require work. Step one will be finding a competent new head coach. Step two will be getting one of the three players that L.A. clearly covets via trade or free agency.
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 26, 2022
And step three? Well, that’s the most important one. That will involve sending Russell Westbrook to anyone one of the four teams willing to accept him.
If Los Angeles follows those three steps, return to respectability will once again be a possibility in 2022-23.