5 candidates to replace Darvin Ham as Lakers head coach

Orlando Magic v Los Angeles Lakers
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Kenny Atkinson

This list only has two coaches who are currently assistants on another staff simply because it still is not that common for an assistant to jump ship for a promotion during the season. If there is any other assistant in the league that might make this kind of jump it would be Kenny Atkinson.

Atkinson is currently an assistant head coach for the Golden State Warriors, which is a role he has had since 2021. Atkinson has been in the league for a long time and has coached on various staffs daring back to the 2008 season.

The veteran coach has gotten one head coaching gig in his career with the Brooklyn Nets. Atkinson was hired in 2016 and held that position through the 2019-20 season. Then, because the Nets were silly and listened to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, Atkinson and the team "mutually decided to part ways" in March of 2020 so the team could eventually hire Steve Nash.

Atkinson's head coaching record is not the greatest but he did elevate the Nets teams that he coached. The 2018-19 Nets had a winning record and made the playoffs despite D'Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie being the team's two best players. There were even more promising signs the following year, although that season was cursed with Kevin Durant getting injured.

If the Lakers are looking for an experienced coach that can simply quell the storm in Los Angeles then Atkinson may be the guy. Atkinson would not reinvent anything the Lakers are doing but he might be the consistent voice in the locker room that this team needs.