5 candidates to replace Darvin Ham as Lakers head coach

Orlando Magic v Los Angeles Lakers
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Jordi Fernandez

Jordi Fernandez is probably the best hire the Los Angeles Lakers could make not just to compete for a title this season but to navigate the post-LeBron era that is right around the corner. There would be some risk in hiring another first-time head coach but there isn't another first-time name on the market with more intrigue than Fernandez.

Fernandez is the current associate head coach of the Sacramento Kings and is lauded in league circles. Fernandez has been touted as the next great head coaching prospect and there is a really good chance that he is a head coach at the start of the 2024-25 season.

Why not make that happen in LA? Fernandez has shown all the signs of being a great head coach, both in the work he has done as an assistant head coach as well as what he did with Team Canada after taking over the job from Nick Nurse.

Fernandez also has ties to LeBron James that are relevant for this potential hire. Fernandez got his start with the Cleveland Cavaliers in a player development role and was on the coaching staff that won the 2016 NBA Championship.

Between that stint and coaching for the Kings, Fernandez served as an assistant on the Denver Nuggets and like everywhere else he coached, received high praise from players and coaches alike.

Hiring a head coach off of another staff does not happen that often, but is possible. The last coach to make this kind of jump was Chris Finch in 2021. Fernandez would be a great candidate to follow in Finch's footsteps.