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Report: Lakers ask for permission to interview Darvin Ham as coaching search begins in earnest

For the first time this summer, the Lakers have officially registered interest in a candidate for their open head coaching job: Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Darvin Ham.

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Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers have asked the Milwaukee Bucks for permission to interview assistant coach Darvin Ham for their open head coaching job, according to multiple reports.

It is unclear if they have received said permission yet, but that is usually a formality. And between the team reaching out to Ham’s employer, and the increasing volume of whispers about their interest in Quin Snyder, one thing is clear: The front office is ramping up their search for Frank Vogel’s replacement:

The Lakers were originally linked to Ham a few weeks ago, and as Charania mentions, he was an assistant coach for the team for two seasons, serving under both Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni. Bill Oram of The Athletic provided a bit more context on that connection on Friday:

As an assistant he has long connected with superstars, including no less a figure than Kobe Bryant when Ham was a Lakers assistant a decade ago. That link could prove important, considering it is Bryant’s former agent making the hire and he knows the influence Bryant’s memory has on the franchise.

This Lakers job hardly seems ideal for a first-time head coach, but Ham’s history with the franchise and his role in helping the Bucks to their first title in 50 years could outweigh that relative inexperience.

For more on his resume, I reached out to Mitchell Maurer of our sister site, BrewHoop, a little more than a week ago, and he broke down what Ham is responsible for in Milwaukee, and what profile as likely strengths and weaknesses for him as a head coach. One thing he pointed out that felt especially notable was that Ham is often the one holding players accountable for their responsibilities with the Bucks, a quality that Rob Pelinka has said will be important for the team’s next leader.

Additionally, Ham has long been considered one of the more promising assistants in the league and has been a mainstay in various NBA head coaching searches over the last several years. So it seems like more a matter of “when” than “if” he eventually gets the chance to run his own team after several seasons working under Mike Budenholzer with the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks.

Will the Lakers be the team to give him that shot? We’ll see, but he’ll at least have a chance to win them over soon.

This breaking news story may update with more information as it develops. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.