NBA rumors: LeBron James welcomes Darvin Ham to Lakers

LeBron James: So damn EXCITED!!!!!!!! Congrats and welcome Coach DHam!! 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 #LakeShow💜💛

More on Lakers Coaching Search

Marc J. Spears: With the hiring of Darvin Ham as the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers via @Adrian Wojnarowski, half of the 30 head coaches in the NBA are now black. With Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra (Asian), 16 of the NBA head coaches are of color. The Charlotte Hornets still have an opening.
Adrian Wojnarowski: ESPN Sources: The Lakers interviewed former Blazers coach Terry Stotts for franchise’s head coaching job in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Two more assistants will meet with LA in near future — Golden State’s Kenny Atkinson and Milwaukee’s Darvin Ham.
The Lakers appear poised to make a decision on their coaching position soon, with Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham, Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson and former Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts the finalists for the job that became vacant when Frank Vogel was fired at season’s end. But as the final round of interviews is set, sources tell The Athletic that Ham appears to have made the strongest impression yet.
In terms of the Lakers’ preferences, sources say team officials have prioritized a coach who can command respect and authority from the locker room and who has a strong enough presence and voice to manage the varying roles and relationships across the roster. Those characteristics bode well for Ham’s candidacy. Throughout assistant coaching stops with the Lakers, Hawks and Bucks, Ham has been known for his no-nonsense style and ability to resonate with his players — attributes that have stood out in his communication with the Lakers thus far as well, sources said.
Ham, who played in eight NBA seasons from 1996 to 2008, is the only former NBA player among the three finalists. Even before he reached the NBA, however, Ham’s reputation as a force of nature was cemented when he broke the backboard while dunking during his 1996 NCAA Tournament run with Texas Tech. Ham, Stotts and Atkinson are in consideration for the Charlotte Hornets vacancy as well. Ham is also a serious candidate for the Hornets, according to sources.
All three finalists will soon meet with top Lakers officials — including owner Jeanie Buss — in Los Angeles for the next in-person stage, sources said. So far, Lakers vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka, director of basketball affairs Kurt Rambis, vice president of research and development Joey Buss and assistant general manager Jesse Buss have led the first stage of coaching interviews.
Plaschke noted in his interview that in his discussion with Jeanie, she pushed back against the mere idea of trading LeBron, so it certainly doesn’t feel like that is a remote possibility. He also said he believes the Lakers would keep Westbrook next season and would make it a requirement for the next head coach to make it work with Westbrook, LeBron and Anthony Davis.
Former Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts, Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Darvin Ham, Toronto Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin and Jackson are the four known candidates to have interviewed with the Lakers to date. Sources maintain that the Lakers’ search is moving deliberately at least in part because L.A. wants to see if Philadelphia’s Doc Rivers or Utah's Quin Snyder makes it to the open market this offseason.
Shams Charania: The Los Angeles Lakers have interviewed former Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson for their head coaching job, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium . Jackson is among the finalists for the Sacramento Kings head coach opening.
Josh Lewenberg: Masai said he's been getting calls about Adrian Griffin, among other Raptors assistants. It would appear one of those calls was from the Lakers. "I think Adrian is right there on the cusp of becoming a head coach in this league"- Ujiri on Griffin yesterday.
Adrian Wojnarowski: “This is very much a committee in L.A. putting together this coaching search. And one person who is certainly significantly involved in this process is Phil Jackson. He’s got a voice in this. He did last time when they hired Frank Vogel. He and Kurt Rambis, (Vogel) had been somebody they had considered with the Knicks before hiring Derek Fisher in New York... They’re moving deliberately. They’re not doing seven or eight or nine candidates all at once. They’re kind of going down a list and taking their time with it. I think that process is going to take a bit.”
Michigan's Juwan Howard is known to hold James' respect after their time together in Miami but is said to be firm in his desire to stay with the Wolverines to coach sons Jace and Jett. Toronto's Nick Nurse and Snyder — also frequently cited as candidates for the post — are not currently available, so pursuing them (or others under contract) comes with complications.
The Lakers' interest in Snyder as a successor to Frank Vogel is serious, sources say. There is nonetheless ongoing skepticism in coaching circles that Snyder would want to move from Utah — where he has enjoyed a considerable amount of control and influence — to take over the LeBron James-led Lakers in their current state after the never-ending chaos that engulfed Vogel's last two seasons. Vogel, remember, wasn't allowed to choose any of his primary assistant coaches and had to take constant input from Lakers front office adviser Kurt Rambis.
As we've been reporting here since March, San Antonio and the Lakers are believed to have interest in Snyder should he become available. In the Lakers’ case, actually, it has zoomed well past belief. There would certainly be other teams as well if Snyder became a coaching free agent despite Utah’s string of painful playoff endings after regular-season excellence.

https://twitter.com/RyanWardLA/status/1513577397915844609
“We are excited to add Frank Vogel as the next head coach of the Lakers,” said Pelinka. “Coach Vogel has a proven track record of success in the NBA Playoffs, and he reflects the core qualities we were looking for in a head coach – including, detailed game preparation, extreme hard work, and holding players accountable to the highest basketball standards.”
“I am very excited for this opportunity to join the Lakers, a prestigious organization that I have long admired,” said Vogel. “I look forward to coaching such phenomenal talent and bringing my strategic vision to the team.”
Kyle Goon: Vogel won't be formally introduced until next Monday after the Lakers have been through the draft lottery and NBA Combine.
Frank Vogel has agreed to a three-year deal to become the next coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources told ESPN. Vogel met with Lakers management on Thursday and talks escalated quickly toward an offer on Saturday to end the franchise's tumultuous coaching process with his hiring, sources said.
Vogel's emerging candidacy speaks to the significant influence of Lakers advisor Kurt Rambis and former coach Phil Jackson, whose opinions weigh heavily with owner Jeanie Buss. Jackson and Rambis had strongly considered Vogel's candidacy in New York before hiring Jeff Hornacek in 2016. Rambis was deeply involved in the interview and evaluation process of the coaching candidates since Luke Walton and the franchise parted ways last month.
Vogel's emerging candidacy speaks to the significant influence of Lakers adviser Kurt Rambis and former coach Phil Jackson, whose opinions weigh heavily with owner Jeanie Buss. Vogel was the runner-up to Jeff Hornacek when Jackson hired a New York Knicks replacement for Derek Fisher in the summer of 2016. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka has spent the past few days gathering information from those who have worked with both Vogel and Kidd about how they believe those two could complement each other on a Lakers coaching staff, league sources said.
Vogel flew to Los Angeles on Thursday and met with Pelinka and his front office and had detailed discussions on how Vogel would approach the possibility of taking over what has become a volatile situation. The Lakers are under tremendous pressure to partner LeBron James with a suitable replacement to Luke Walton and to start to quell the turmoil that's surrounding the organization.
Former Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel made a strong impression in his interview with the Los Angeles Lakers and the sides are planning to talk again soon about the team's head coaching job, league sources told ESPN. After the Lakers top two targets, Monty Williams and Ty Lue rejected the franchise's offers, the Lakers reset their search and Vogel is emerging as a serious candidate, sources said. Vogel flew to Los Angeles on Thursday and met with Lakers GM Rob Pelinka and his front office and had detailed discussions on how he'd approach the possibility of taking over what has become a volatile situation.
Vogel was the runner up to Jeff Hornacek when Phil Jackson hired a replacement for Derek Fisher in the summer of 2016. Jackson remains strongly tied to a Lakers hierarchy that includes controlling owner Jeanie Buss and advisor Kurt Rambis.
Scott Agness: Frank Vogel’s interview with the Lakers on Thursday went well, I’m told. He remained in Orlando this year so his family didn’t have to move and he followed the league closely, eager to land another head-coaching gig.
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, Kidd has been selling the Lakers on his ability to develop young talent and would be especially excited to work alongside Lonzo Ball: I don’t want to pull back the curtain too much but I’ve spent a considerable amount of time talking to Jason Kidd about the Lakers job. I can’t say that I know exactly what he said to them in his interview, but I have a general idea of what his vision for the team was and I think one of the things that Jason really believed in was developing their young players. Again, I don’t want to violate too much of a confidence here, but when we spoke about it, I really do think he was a big believer in Lonzo Ball. He thinks Lonzo Ball can really be a good player. He wants to help develop him.
Former Knicks coach Mike Woodson and former Nets coach Lionel Hollins have been informed that they are among the head coaches on the Lakers' radar, league sources confirmed to SNY. The Lakers' coaching search re-opened earlier this week when negotiations between Tyronn Lue and Los Angeles reportedly fell apart.
The organization communicated its interest in both Woodson and Hollins in the wake of things falling apart with Lue, per sources. It is unknown if a meeting between the Lakers, and either coach has been scheduled yet.
If he switches conferences, one of the leading options could be joining his former teammate LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers. According to Brian Windhorst, who has extensively covered both of these players, this has recently become more likely than ever (via ESPN): “As time passes here, I would’ve said that this is impossible for many months. But as time passes here and as the possibility exists that Jason Kidd could be hired as the Lakers coach, I think the possibility of Kyrie and LeBron reuniting — that door, which was deadbolted, has been un-deadbolted and has now been cracked open … It might even be opening more by the day. And I say that just because I think it’s on Kyrie’s radar, it’s on Kyrie’s board. He has had discussions with people about playing for the Lakers.”
Bickerstaff is scheduled to meet with Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, general manager Rob Pelinka, co-owners Joey Buss and Jesse Buss, president of business operations Tim Harris, director of special projects Linda Rambis and senior advisor Kurt Rambis.
Rajon Rondo said as much when he appeared on Wednesday's NBA Countdown on ESPN. He stated it about as clearly as he could at the 6:30 mark of the interview: if the Lakers don't have a head coach soon, he isn't interested in returning to the team. "At this point in my career, a head coach is big for me," Rondo said. "It's all about a relationship. So if they don't have one, it's a no go for me." In a vacuum, this would not be the worst thing to hear. The Lakers probably don't plan to bring Rondo back next season anyway. Lonzo Ball is the starting point guard of the future, and Alex Caruso earned a backup job with his strong play down the stretch. The Lakers aren't going to make a major investment in a non-shooting point guard that is aging quickly.
In light of the failed pursuit of former Cleveland Cavaliers head Tyronn Lue by the Los Angeles Lakers, disgruntled fans are planning to stage a protest outside of Staples Center on Friday at 12 p.m. The protest was organized by Reddit user Charlie Rivers (u/C-P-R) in an effort to get the attention of Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss, who he says doesn’t care about the fans but “cares what the media says.”
Ramona Shelburne: Negotiations really deteriorated w/ Ty Lue when the Lakers refused to offer more than a three year deal that was designed to line up with LeBron James’ contract. Lue felt insulted the Lakers only saw him as a coach for LeBron, sources close to the process told ESPN.
Ramona Shelburne: One league source said it appeared that Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka never expected negotiations could fall apart as they did because Lue didn’t have other offers. Lue was seeking a 5-year deal, believing his championship experience commanded it.
Tania Ganguli: Juwan Howard and Jason Kidd are still in the pool of candidates for the Lakers' coaching job. Can also confirm they are adding Lionel Hollins, Frank Vogel and Mike Woodson to their list of candidates, as first reported by @Shams Charania
Dave McMenamin: Ty Lue and his reps turned down the Lakers’ offer Tuesday, per league sources. LAL regrouped with an offer in the range of 3 years, $18 million today. Lue’s side pulled out of negotiations. Lue’s camp seeking 5 year deal with salary commensurate with championship resume
Chris Haynes: Yahoo Sources: Lakers offered Tyronn Lue a three-year deal. Lue requested a five-year pact, same length issued to Luke Walton. Under Lakers’ proposal, the contract of Lue and LeBron James would have expired at the same time.
The Lakers pushed for former NBA coaches Frank Vogel and Jason Kidd to be added to Lue’s coaching staff, sources said. Although Lue wasn’t fond of having his staff picked for him, he would have relented if his contract terms were met, sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Lakers advisor Kurt Rambis is playing a major role in the franchise's coaching search, league sources tell ESPN. He's emerging as a powerful voice in basketball operations.
Richard Jefferson: I feel bad for my guys.... which one?!? All of them, T-LUE, Bron and Luke!! This is what Luke was working with, this is what T-LUE didn’t want to get involved with and this is what Bron is dealing with.
Tania Ganguli: The Lakers have decided to move on from Ty Lue as they search for their next head coach, having determined he isn't the right long-term fit for the organization, according to a team source.
Beyond an inability to agree on contractual terms, the Lakers had proposed several scenarios involving their preferred candidates for assistant coaches, including Jason Kidd, league sources said. The Cleveland Cavaliers still owe Lue $10-plus million on his contract payout, and accepting a less-than-market value deal from the Lakers could ultimately cost him money.
General manager Rob Pelinka and front office advisor Kurt Rambis had interviewed Kidd for the head coaching job, and became convinced that he should be a key member of a Lue coaching staff, league sources said. They believed Kidd could be impactful with point guard Lonzo Ball, and were impressed with the Milwaukee Bucks player development during his tenure there. It isn't believed that Lue had objections to Kidd joining his staff, but the two had not discussed the possibility directly, league sources said.
Marc Stein: As @NYTSports reported late in the regular season, management's dismay with Luke Walton's staff was among the reasons Walton fell out of favor with the front office before the abrupt resignation of team president Magic Johnson on April 9
Tania Ganguli: The word last season was that if Walton had kept his job, he was going to have to shake up his staff. I wondered going into this if their views on the makeup of the staff would affect negotiations with Lue.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Discussions have included talks on contract and assistant coaching staff, sources said. Among Lakers hopes on a Lue staff: Jason Kidd. He made a strong impression with management in his head coaching interview and had a productive history w/ Bucks developing young talent.
Sam Amick: "My understanding is that the Lakers never, and the terminology that was given to me is curious and probably telling, they never officially offered Monty the job. It seems that, the way I translated that, was that they might have wanted him but then did want him … to the tune of whatever he got from Phoenix.”
Lue was not the unanimous favorite to replace Walton among the Lakers’ many decision-makers in the wake of Magic Johnson’s abrupt April 9 resignation. He was indeed favored over Monty Williams, but there were some nagging fears among a minority of the team’s power brokers — as mentioned here previously — that hiring LeBron’s former Cleveland Cavaliers coach would be giving James too much control in Lakerland.
It must be noted that the Lakers hadn’t made the hiring of Lue official as of this newsletter’s publication Tuesday afternoon. Putting more distance between Williams’ hiring in Phoenix and a Lue announcement appears to matter greatly to them, which is strange when you consider that the Lakers have appeared utterly unconcerned for so long by the unflattering optics stemming from their refusal to modernize so many other elements of the operation.
The reports of Lue wanting to add his former colleague in Boston, Tom Thibodeau, to his coaching staff are also true. LeBron, through intermediaries, has let it be known that Thibodeau would be a huge asset to have on the bench. LeBron’s close associates were gauging Thibodeau’s interest in becoming a top assistant two weeks ago. It would be similar to the role Mike Brown and Ron Adams serve under Steve Kerr in Golden State. Thibodeau, however, is owed a lot of money from the Minnesota Timberwolves and the feeling is that he would prefer a head coaching job. Thibodeau has the resume and income to be patient. Plus, after dealing with an unstable management group in Minnesota, Thibodeau may be taking a wait-and-see approach with the “new-look” Lakers.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Tyronn Lue are in the process of working on a contract agreement that would make Lue the franchise’s next head coach, league sources told Yahoo Sports.‬ Lue, 42, has not accepted the position yet as both sides continue to focus on contractual parameters, sources said.‬
‪If Lue takes the job, Frank Vogel — former coach of the Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic — could join his staff as a lead assistant, sources said. ‬‪Kurt Rambis — a former Lakers player and coach whose wife, Linda, is a trusted confidant and adviser to team owner Jeanie Buss — has had a significant role in the hiring process, sources said. ‬
The Los Angeles Lakers are proceeding toward an offer to Ty Lue in the coming days and have no plans to introduce new candidates into their head-coaching search, league sources told ESPN. The team has been on its own timetable throughout this process and has yet to offer the job to any candidate, league sources said.
The Lakers are poised to make an offer to Tyronn Lue to become their next head coach, and he will come with two endorsers who have 10 Lakers championships between them. Phil Jackson, who coached Lue, and Magic Johnson, who stepped down as the Lakers’ president of basketball operations last month, told Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss that they supported the hiring of Lue, according to a person familiar with their discussions.
Johnson and Buss had a dinner Thursday night during which they discussed Buss’ pending decision. Johnson expressed his support for Lue and impressed upon Buss how difficult a feat it is to make three consecutive NBA Finals appearances, the source said. Buss had been taking her time to be deliberate and not have the Lakers rush into any decision.
Lue and James remained close and are both expected to attend the boxing match between Canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs on Saturday in Las Vegas, where Lue has a home. There were some in the Lakers organization who worried about the perception that if they hired Lue, James had too much power within the organization. Ultimately, the Lakers have decided not to worry about such perceptions.
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June 26, 2022 | 6:52 am EDT Update

Kevin Durant has not spoken with the Nets in weeks?

Not much of Murdock’s take was optimistic if you’re a Nets fan. Indeed, he referred to the franchise’s current situation as “destruction” in the podcast and suggested perhaps more firmly than other pundits that Durant could indeed leave. “The vision is on the verge of crumbling,” he wrote. “It didn’t have to be this way,” he said, summing up. “This team … and it’s ironic. Kevin came to reconcile relationships, build relationships with his BFF’s and it’s not working out. It’s doing the exact opposite. And you juxtapose that with Golden State winning…” “Now, you have reports that Kyrie is looking elsewhere. I made some calls. Kevin Durant has not talked to the team in weeks. I don’t think Kevin is confident in the front office right now. I don’t know if he’s at the stage of leaving but there’s a big uneasiness from not only from the Kyrie side, but the KD side as well.”
At the center of it, Murdock pointed out multiple times is the Nets relationship with Irving. “His biggest beef is that he feels that the front office didn’t grow to understand Kyrie, whatever that means. I would push back on that when a guy leaves for two weeks at a time … Kyrie earns the lion’s share of the blame. But I think KD believes that ‘hey, you guys didn’t understand this guy. You didn’t try to figure out where he was coming from.’”
Still, Durant believes the Nets didn’t support Irving particularly when they decided not to play him at all in October, after he refused to get vaccinated like all but a handful of NBA players, then brought him back in October. “That’s just how he feels. ‘Hey man, I brought this guy in, him and Kyrie, and the front office didn’t do enough to support him at a time when we needed to support him.”
Moreover, Murdock pointed to the Nets decision to dump Adam Harrington, their long-time assistant coach and director of development, as a big negative for KD. Durant and Harrington go back to KD’s time in Oklahoma City when Harrington was his shooting coach. “And here’s another thing, KOC, the Nets got rid of Adam Harrington. who’s very close to Kevin. He’s one of Kevin’s guys. And that had a big ripple effect on how Kevin feels about this right now. He’s still in this figure-it-out mode but there is some fire to that smoke that he’s kind of reevaluating where he stands with this.”
LeBron James and Kyrie Irving won a ring together before, and it may not have been their last … ’cause Matt Barnes tells TMZ Sports the Lakers could be smelling champagne if Kyrie Irving joins L.A. Matt — who played for the Purple and Gold for two seasons — spoke about the recent Irving rumors out at LAX this week … and he told us if Uncle Drew ends up with the Lakers, it could result in the franchise’s 18th championship.

Hawks interested in Deandre Ayton, but wouldn't pay max money

The Hawks could still pursue Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton in free agency. Sources tell The Athletic that the Hawks’ interest in the 23-year-old would be contingent on landing him for less than a max contract. That may not be an option, as the Pistons, who have the cap space for a max contract, are expected to be aggressive in their pursuit of Ayton in free agency.