4 Darvin Ham replacements the Lakers must avoid at all costs

The Lakers should avoid these names in their head coaching search.
Los Angeles Lakers, J.J. Redick
Los Angeles Lakers, J.J. Redick / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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The Los Angeles Lakers fired head coach Darvin Ham on Friday afternoon after just two seasons. He led them to the conference finals in 2023, but they could not replicate the magic this year. The Lakers were knocked out in the first round and their season-long disappointment led to Ham’s departure.

LA is expected to explore several options to replace him. The candidate list will continue to grow but is led by a pair of championship head coaches. Tyronn Lue is still under contract with the Clippers, but Mike Budenholzer won a ring in Milwaukee in 2021. They may opt for a first-time head coach in hopes of finding a long-term fit, if they decide against paying a proven winner.

The Lakers should turn over every rock in their search because the pressure is on. LeBron James turns 40 later this year, and LA wants to win now. They must improve their roster and cannot afford another coaching blunder, which should keep these names from being hired.

4. Rajon Rondo

LeBron James praised Rondo’s basketball IQ on his Mind the Game podcast and made it clear that the four-time All-Star should be coaching somewhere. The 38-year-old played 16 years in the NBA but has not appeared in a game since 2022. Anthony Davis shared similar comments on his former teammate. Rondo won two titles as a player, including in 2020 with the Lakers.

Is he interested in coaching? Does he jump directly to the NBA? Rondo certainly has the basketball IQ to coach at a high level, but the Lakers should have zero interest in making his first experience be as the leader of their franchise. LeBron James may believe in Rondo’s coaching, but there is zero track record.

Bringing him on as an assistant or player development coach would work, but they should not make him the head coach. His recent arrest may keep him out entirely.

The Lakers have championship aspirations and need someone with coaching experience. LA should look for someone with a history of success to sit in their top chair.