7 Lakers head coach candidates to replace Darvin Ham

Who can the Lakers get to replace Darvin Ham as head coach?
Los Angeles Lakers, Darvin Ham
Los Angeles Lakers, Darvin Ham / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Lakers were bounced in the first round of the playoffs for the second time in four years. It was a disappointing season after last year’s run to conference finals. The Lakers brought back virtually the same roster, but could not replicate their magical run. Head coach Darvin Ham is on the hot seat, and the Lakers have several questions to answer this offseason.

LeBron James turns 40 later this year and is nearing the end of his career. He has a $51.4 million player option for next season and is using it to create leverage. James wants roster upgrades, a fresh contract, and more. His son is draft-eligible, and he could push the Lakers to select him if he decides to enter. Does LeBron push for a new head coach too?

Ham’s days in Los Angeles are numbered. It is the easiest change to make, and the second-year coach had plenty of issues throughout the season. His rotation, timeout, and challenge decisions were often head-scratching. Ham led LA to the conference finals in year one but is likely gone after his second season. Who could the Lakers get to replace him?

7. Juwan Howard

This one feels unlikely as the former University of Michigan head coach just accepted an assistant role with the Nets, but crazier things have happened. General manager Rob Pelinka went to Michigan and was a college teammate of Howard's. The 19-year NBA veteran also played with LeBron James with the Miami Heat.

When Darvin Ham got the job, the Lakers were interested in Howard. He decided to stay at Michigan to coach his sons, but things have changed. Howard was fired at the end of the season and is eager to jump back into the NBA.

If the Lakers open their head coaching position, the interest is likely mutual this time. Does Pelinka select his former college teammate to be their next coach? There will be no shortage of candidates for the gig.