Lakers' Darvin Ham replacement might be extremely obvious because of LeBron James

LeBron James could try to get his podcast co-host to replace Darvin Ham as Lakers head coach.
Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James
Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers avoided a sweep but were bounced in the first round of the playoffs by the defending champion Nuggets. It was a disappointing season marred by injuries and underachieving. Head coach Darvin Ham’s job is in jeopardy, and the Lakers face an uncertain offseason.

The headlines will revolve around LeBron James and his $51.4 million player option for next season. King James may not want to leave LA, but he has leverage over the Lakers. They cannot afford to lose him, and James could test free agency. There would be several suitors for the GOAT. The Lakers are willing to give him a max contract, but what else?

James could pressure his team into drafting his eldest son, which has long been a goal for the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. LeBron may also force the Lakers to change their head coach, and King James may already have his preferred Darvin Ham replacement in mind.

J.J. Redick drawing buzz to be Lakers head coach thanks to LeBron James

Redick was an elite shooter during his 15-year NBA career. He was podcasting during his playing days, but he became massive after his retirement in 2021. Fans can hear Redick broadcasting games for ESPN and giving insight only a player with his elite basketball IQ can offer. He even started a podcast with LeBron talking Xs and Os of the game.

Redick has interest in coaching, despite his media success. He interviewed with the Hornets this summer, and the Raptors were interested in 2023. With Ham on the hot seat, could LeBron bring Redick to LA to be their head coach? Marc Stein floated the idea (subscription required) on his Substack. It was also discussed on The Gilbert Arenas Show.  

Redick would certainly be open to it. LeBron James has been picking the 15-year NBA veteran’s brain on their podcast, and Redick has been discussing coach's mistakes throughout the playoffs on his platforms. He may struggle as a first-time head coach, but Darvin Ham helped the Lakers get to the conference finals in year one. Redick would likely have a better feel for his team and more buy-in from their stars.

This move seems obvious. Mike Budenholzer is the only championship coach currently looking and without a job. He was Darvin Ham’s mentor. Do the Lakers want to bring in the person who taught the guy they just fired? Bud had tons of success in Atlanta and Milwaukee, but LeBron likely wants a change. Who better as a first-time head coach than his podcast partner?

Fans have seen plenty of broadcasters turned head coaches have success. Steve Kerr was calling games before taking over as the Warriors head coach. This could be the Los Angeles Lakers shot at getting the next great coach before someone else does. Or it may backfire in their faces? The franchise needs a change and will likely look to LeBron and Klutch Sports for advice. Do not be surprised to see J.J. Redick coaching the Lakers in the fall.