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#pounditTuesday, August 16, 2022

Report: Lakers not giving up pursuit of NBA champion coach

Jeanie Buss looking on

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Doc Rivers has been mentioned as a potential candidate to coach the Los Angeles Lakers next season. The Philadelphia 76ers seemingly put that talk to rest when they publicly committed to Rivers earlier this month, but apparently the Lakers are not convinced.

NBA reporter Marc Stein wrote on Monday that there is a feeling around the NBA that the Lakers have “not completely abandoned hope” with Rivers. That could merely be wishful thinking, of course.

Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey stated in no uncertain terms recently that Rivers will be back with the team next season. A report then claimed the 76ers are willing to work directly with Rivers to improve their roster.

Rivers’ contract with Philadelphia runs through the 2024-25 season. Even if he wanted to coach the Lakers, the Sixers would be entitled to compensation. L.A. depleted much of its draft capital by acquiring Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook in blockbuster trades. It is unclear how the Lakers would swing a trade for Rivers if they got that far with the 60-year-old.

The Lakers are said to have narrowed their search down to three finalists. Stein was told by a source that the search is “still wider” than recent reports have indicated.

It is highly unlikely that the Lakers will be able to pry Rivers away from Philly. The only hope they would have is if the interest was mutual and Rivers refused to return to the Sixers. Even then, the situation would be extremely complicated.

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