The Lakers could have hired Will Hardy
Will Hardy was not as big of a name as Brown or Synder during the head coaching search in 2022. Unlike the previous two coaches, Hardy had no previous experience as a head coach in the NBA. He was in the same boat as Ham as a respected assistant who finally got his chance.
Ham has certainly done more since getting the job than Hardy has but most of that is situational. Hardy was hired to build up a Utah Jazz team that completely hit the reset button. Meanwhile, Ham was handed one of the greatest athletes of all time and a roster that, while flawed with Westbrook when he was hired, had a chance to contend for a title.
if the rolls were reversed then Hardy would probably have more success than Ham has had thus far while Ham would not have unlocked players like Lauri Markannen and Walker Kessler in Utah. Heck, Ham probably wouldn't even start Markannen because he isn't great defensively.
Hardy has succeeded expectations in Utah and it is clear that he is going to have a solid career in the NBA. After all, Hardy was a key member of Gregg Popovich's coaching staff and was arguably the most important assistant in Boston when the team made the NBA Finals in 2022.
That is the kind of resume the Lakers should have been looking for. But Hardy did not play in the league like Ham did, which might have swung the decision.