While the Lakers may be the biggest franchise with a coaching vacancy, they aren’t the only team searching for its next leader on the sideline. Both the Kings and Hornets are among the teams searching for head coaches in parallel with the Lakers, and how their searches unfold could impact Los Angeles’ search as well.
But no matter what hires are taking place, it appears some of the Lakers' top potential targets may not be all that attainable, as they remained locked into contracts with their current franchises.
So with that in mind, let’s take a look at the latest rumors about a few of the coaches connected to the Lakers.
Quin Snyder may not want to end up in Los Angeles
In his latest news story for Bleacher Report, NBA insider Jake Fischer added some new details on the Lakers’ pursuit of Quin Snyder, which doesn’t seem to have much steam to it despite the Jazz flaming out of the playoffs yet again (emphasis mine):
The rampant speculation about his future has stemmed from the coach’s rebuffing Utah’s offers to extend him prior to this season. And while the Lakers are known to have strong interest in Snyder, pessimism persists around the NBA and several sources familiar with Snyder’s thinking that Los Angeles does not present an attractive landing spot for the veteran coach. He is more often linked as a possible eventual replacement for Gregg Popovich in San Antonio.
The Spurs seem to have much more stability in their franchise, which almost certainly makes it a more appealing job for Snyder (and just about any other candidate) if it comes open. However, with Gregg Popovich’s future uncertain, it’s unclear how long Snyder would have to potentially wait to land a job in San Antonio.
Mark Jackson may not be completely out of the running with the Lakers yet, despite Kings’ interest
In the same piece linked above, Fischer also gave an update on the Lakers’ — and LeBron James’ — interest in Mark Jackson, a finalist for the Kings job (emphasis mine).
Jackson is popular among many active players, perhaps because of his visibility as a color commentator for ESPN or his status as a former All-Star and the 1987-88 Rookie of the Year. LeBron James is known to have interest in Jackson for the Los Angeles Lakers’ opening, as does LaMelo Ball with the Charlotte Hornets’ vacancy, sources said.
Not only is Jackson a finalist in Sacramento, he reportedly impressed Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé during his interview, which could lead to him landing that job and not being in contention for the Lakers job.
But even then, Marc Stein recently reported that Jackson doesn’t have a strong chance of landing in Los Angeles, though it was also previously reported that LeBron James likes Jackson.
Nick Nurse is not a real option... yet
And speaking of people not having strong chances to land in Los Angeles, Nick Nurse continues to look less and less likely to come to the Lakers. After Nurse himself played naive during his own exit interview on Monday, Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri was much more blunt in rebuffing rumors linking his coach to Los Angeles:
Masai Ujiri on reports of the Lakers' interest in Nick Nurse: "No team has contacted me. And I see all the stuff that you guys see. I dream like they dream. I want Messi. I want Renaldo. I want Kobe Bryant. So they can keep dreaming. I dream too."— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) May 3, 2022
Ujiri asked about WNBA, and he does not go into it. “Those are our dreams — just like the Lakers’."— (((Eric Koreen))) (@ekoreen) May 3, 2022
The Raptors hold all the negotiating power when it comes to Nurse, and there’s nothing to indicate they would be low on him in any way. It was a pie-in-the-sky option that looks like it won’t be working out in the Lakers' favor.
Darvin Ham is still getting interest elsewhere
A far more realistic option for L.A. will be Darvin Ham, current assistant coach for the Bucks. The team requested and was granted permission to interview Ham, the first candidate they’ve done so with.
But while Ham may have been eliminated from the Kings’ search process, he is still a hot commodity in the coaching circles this offseason as he will also be interviewing for the Hornets opening.
GM Mitch Kupchak and D'Antoni worked together with the Lakers (2012-2014) and had a good working relationship.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 3, 2022
There are various aspects that could make one job more appealing than the other. There are few young players with a brighter future than LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges, who form an exciting tandem in Charlotte moving forward.
Obviously, though, LeBron James and Anthony Davis will trump that and basically any other duo in the NBA. So while there is potentially less stability with the Lakers franchise, but a much higher ceiling.
Ultimately, however, it may not even come down to a decision between the Hornets and Lakers for Ham, because both situations are still so fluid. We’ll continue to keep you updated here as that search and others continue to unfold.