Los Angeles Lakers fans have not seen eye-to-eye with head coach Darvin Ham for quite some time now. Ham's unpopular rotation decisions are seen as a big reason why the team is struggling and has a record under .500 at the halfway point of the season.
Ham's lineup decisions are held under a microscope even in games that the Lakers win. There is not much rhyme or reason to the decisions that he is making, which is making this season all the more frustrating for the fanbase.
The fans aren't the only ones who Ham might not be seeing eye-to-eye with, either. In addition to the reported disconnect between he and the locker room, there also seems to be a disconnect between he and the front office. Rob Pelinka and the Lakers seem to value certain players like Rui Hachimura, while Ham does not seem to share the same sentiment.
In his latest for Bleacher Report, Eric Pincus outlined the path to a Dejounte Murray trade and highlighted the fact that the team may not want to move on from Hachimura. This is contradictory to how Ham has handled the young forward this season.
"L.A. is also close to its first-apron spending limit (about $4.9 million under), so several others might need to be on the move (especially if L.A. is taking in additional veterans from Atlanta) like Rui Hachimura, D'Angelo Russell and Gabe Vincent (out after knee surgery). The Lakers want to keep Reaves and Hachimura, so it remains unclear whether a compromise can be met."
Darvin Ham, Lakers front office don't seem to see eye-to-eye about Rui Hachimura
At a $17 million contract figure, Hachimura is a key asset that the Lakers can try and flip at the deadline as part of a bigger trade. Hachimura is young and has trade value, so it makes sense for the Lakers to try and upgrade using his value.
Because of his value, though, it is not hard to blame the Lakers for not wanting to include him in any trade packages. When Hachimura is right he is a very impactful member of the roster who can swing playoff games and series. Lakers fans have seen it first hand.
But none of this makes sense when you consider how Ham has used Hachimura this season. Ham has not given Hachimura the playing time he deserves even when Hachimura has proven his worth with his play. The only times Hachimura has gotten the playing time he should be getting is when there were injuries to the roster.
It does not take a rocket scientist to see where the disconnect is here. Ham is prioritizing guys like Taurean Prince and Cam Reddish in the rotation while the likes of Hachimura and Jarred Vanderbilt are getting fewer minutes off the bench.
Yet it if came down to it, Pelinka would not hesitate to trade either Prince or Reddish. He obviously does not want to trade Hachimura and physically cannot trade Vanderbilt this season because of the extension that he signed.
Perhaps Pelinka needs to trade Prince to protect Darvin Ham for himself. Or he can do what any smart GM should do in this situation and step in to make the proper changes.
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