Darvin Ham stopping Lakers from making obvious trade looks even worse now

Celebrities At The Los Angeles Lakers Game
Celebrities At The Los Angeles Lakers Game / Allen Berezovsky/GettyImages

The 2023-24 season has been all about mismanagement for the Los Angeles Lakers. Los Angeles definitely has the talent to make a deep run in the NBA Playoffs but does not have a head coach that knows what to do with that talent.

Whether it be bad rotations or an outright lack of coaching, Darvin Ham has made it abundantly clear that he is the weak link in Los Angeles. In the most important game of the year on Tuesday night, Ham once again dropped the ball and removed any chance of the Lakers moving up in the play-in seeding.

Ham's negative impact on the team is even more far-reaching than Lakers fans could have imagined, though. In addition to having obvious favoritism for Taurean Prince in the team's rotation, Ham also played politics with Prince behind the scenes. According to a report from Jovan Buha of The Athletic back in February, Ham made it a point to stand up for his guy to keep the Lakers from trading him.

"With limited interest in their players with multiple years left on their contracts, one option the Lakers weighed was trading Taurean Prince, who is making $4.5 million on an expiring contract. However, head coach Darvin Ham was one of the vocal supporters of retaining Prince, according to team sources."

Lakers shouldn't have listened to Darvin Ham at the trade deadline

Taurean Prince has been the worst consistent member of the rotation for the Los Angeles Lakers this season and has been getting playing time like he is one of the best. It took Ham far too long to realize that playing Prince was not a recipe for success, and even worse, the head coach couldn't admit when he was wrong.

Let's be clear about something: the Lakers were not going to get some good return for Prince and they probably would have just gotten fodder from a team that wanting an expiring deal. But at the very least, the Lakers' front office could have protected Ham from himself.

Because guess what? If the Lakers had traded Prince away then they would not have given Ham the chance to throw him in lineups when it made absolutely no sense (like he did on Tuesday night). It would have forced the head coach to play people who actually deserved the playing time and may have resulted in the Lakers being 2-3 games better than they are right now.

That may not seem like much, but as the NBA standings show, that 2-3 game difference could have been massive. The difference between being a seventh seed and ninth seed is tremendous. and Ham playing Prince as much as he has is a big reason why the Lakers are in their current situation.

This is just another valid reason to blame Ham for the Lakers' struggles this season; like fans even needed any more.