On top of bringing in Darvin Ham as head coach this offseason, one of the Lakers’ other biggest wins on the sideline came in retaining assistant coach Phil Handy. Now, it appears that Handy will be around for much longer than just this coming season.
Let’s take a look at the latest reports and rumors.
A Handy extension
Handy is one of the most well-respected assistants in the league by both fellow coaches and players. It was no small victory that the Lakers were able to retain his services when the vast majority of Frank Vogel’s staff departed.
But not only did the Lakers convince Handy to return, they also reportedly agreed to an extension with him as well, according to Marc Spears of ESPN.
It really can’t be understated how big it is to keep Handy. For one, he’s one of the top player development coaches in the league and the Lakers have a number of young players, including recent draftee Max Christie. Maybe as importantly, Handy has the respect and backing of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, two very important figures in the franchise.
Now, even as the Lakers have him locked up for an extended period now, Handy is someone who expressed a desire this offseason to move into a head coaching role. Similar to Ham, Handy will be looking to make that jump from respected assistant to head coach in the coming years, meaning his time with the Lakers could still be limited.
Silence around Carmelo
One of the fan favorites from a generally rotten team last year was Carmelo Anthony. Particularly early in the season, Staples Melo gave fans plenty of fun moments. However, later in the season, Melo’s age showed considerably, most notably on the defensive end, leaving a bit of a sour taste in the mouths of fans as well.
Still, his scoring prowess remained, even in his 19th season, and his adaptation to the modern game late in his career means he can still have a role with a team. However, there has been no noise around his name so far according to longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein in his latest Spotify Live session.
“I have not heard Carmelo’s name once since free agency began. I think he was pretty solid last season for the Lakers. Can he find his way to a job? I think he played well enough that the answer is yes. I know there are people out there are still hoping that there’s one more Knicks reunion in his future. But he’s going to be, probably, a later in the summer signing.”
After last season, Anthony spoke about his time in Los Angeles and didn’t sound like someone likely to return. The Lakers’ flurry of movement and the complete lack of reports linking them to Anthony probably paints the picture of the end of their time together. We’ll always have Staples Melo.
Kyrie Irving prefers to remain in Brooklyn?
Look, the roller coaster of Kyrie Irving has been a wild one and it’s gone on for barely a month. And he isn’t even a Laker.
Yeah, big deep breath.
The reports have long reached a silly level, but the latest one indicating that Irving would prefer to stay in Brooklyn regardless if Kevin Durant is there or not is about as wild as they come.
Not that it’s needed, but that’s just a reminder that we are around three weeks removed from a point where a large contingent of people were convinced Kyrie may legitimately opt out of his contract, take the taxpayer mid-level exception and accept a $30 million pay cut. He also explored trade options at that time, too.
Now, we’re at a point where he’s just willing to play it out in Brooklyn? When can we get off this wild ride?