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#pounditFriday, June 21, 2024

4 potential candidates emerge for Lakers head coach job

The Lakers logo at half court

Apr 22, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; The Los Angeles Lakers logo at center court during game three of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Four potential candidates have already been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers head coach job in light of Darvin Ham’s dismissal.

Shams Charania and Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported Friday that the Lakers plan to conduct an “extensive search” for their next head coach. Among the expected candidates are a group of experienced coaches, including Mike Budenholzer and Kenny Atkinson, as well as current ESPN analyst JJ Redick.

Interestingly, Los Angeles Clippers head coach Ty Lue is also listed as a potential target if he becomes available.

After failing to progress under a first-time coach in Ham, it certainly makes sense that the Lakers might target someone with previous head coaching experience this time. Budenholzer and Atkinson fit the bill, with Budenholzer having led the Milwaukee Bucks to an NBA title three years ago. Lue obviously also has plenty of experience and an NBA title to his name.

Ham was fired by the Lakers on Friday following two middling regular seasons and an early playoff exit this year. The next coach will be expected to contend for a championship immediately, especially since LeBron James is not getting any younger.

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