5 candidates to replace Darvin Ham as Lakers head coach

Orlando Magic v Los Angeles Lakers
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Terry Stotts

Like Jackson, Terry Stotts is not currently part of any NBA coaching staff which might make it easier for the Lakers to hire him if the time comes. There is no guarantee that the team would be able to poach Fernandez or Atkinson, opening the door for someone like Stotts to be hired.

It isn't like Stotts has been out of the league for a long time. The veteran head coach was actually hired as an assistant for the Milwaukee Bucks. Prior to the 2023-24 season, though, Stotts stepped down from his role.

Stotts would provide a similar outlook at Atkinson in the sense that he would bring experience and stability to the locker room. He is by far the most experienced candidate on this list, as he has over a decade of coaching experience in the league.

His last stint (aside from the short-lived assistant job in Milwaukee) was as the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers. Stotts coached the Blazers for nine seasons, making the playoffs in eight of his nine seasons. It is hard to find a midseason head coach candidate who has 67 playoff games on his resume.

Stotts is on the older side and Lakers fans shouldn't expect someone like him to reinvent the wheel in Los Angeles. LeBron would still do his thing as the most vocal and influential player in the huddles, with Stotts being tasked to run a sensible NBA rotation (something Ham cannot do).