Lakers part way with head coach Darvin Ham

May 3, 2024, 11:10 AM | Updated: 11:12 am

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 03: Head coach Darvin Ham of the Los Angeles Lakers coaches his team ...

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers have parted ways with head coach Darvin Ham, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Ham posted a 90-74 record during two seasons in Los Angeles, including a 9-12 record in the NBA Playoffs. Following another postseason defeat to the Denver Nuggets, whispers around the league signaled that Ham’s time with the organization was coming to an end.

That notion was confirmed on Friday, as the Lakers will reportedly put together a candidate pool that includes former Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer, Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, former NBA guard and current ESPN analyst JJ Redick, and, if he becomes available, Los Angeles Clippers head coach Ty Lue among others.

Original Story published on May 1, 2024

As soon as the final buzzer sounded following Monday’s Game 5 matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets, two questions emerged for LA:

Will LeBron James become a free agent, and will Darvin Ham return as head coach?

James, 39, shared on social media that he doesn’t know what his plan for 2024-25 will be and that he will spend time with his family before deciding whether to pick up his $51 million player option to remain a Lakers, opt out of his contract to test free agency, or sign an extension with Los Angeles in what would likely be his final NBA contract.

As for Ham, the outlook is bleak on a return in 2024-25.

According to The Athletic, Ham’s future as the Lakers head coach “is in serious peril,” with team stakeholders indicating that his return to the bench is unlikely.

More on Lakers head coach Darvin Ham

Ham, who was signed to a four-year, $20 million deal before the 2022-23 season, was reportedly close to losing his job earlier this season before Los Angeles overcame a 19-21 start to the season by winning 11 of their next 16 games to jump back into the playoff mix.

Although the Lakers secured the seventh seed spot in the Western Conference, they fell victim to the reigning champion Nuggets, who followed up last year’s 4-0 sweep in the Conference Finals with a 4-1 series victory in the playoffs’ opening round.

Los Angeles watched multiple leads slip through its fingers against Denver, most notably a 20-point lead in Game 2 that ended with Nuggets guard Jamal Murray’s devastating game-winner (the first of two game-sealing baskets from Murray during this five-game series).

According to The Athletic, the blown 20-point lead acted as the final straw for Ham:

Throughout the series and most of the season, however, team officials and players believe Ham’s fluctuating rotations, game plans and lack of adjustments led to an underperforming group. It created discontent within the locker room, which became palpable across the franchise.

The Lakers’ blown 20-point lead in Game 2 of the Denver series served as a final straw of sorts. After a successful first year as coach in which he showed signs as a leader of players, the tide turned for Ham this season.

There was tremendous respect for Ham as a person, and players had an appreciation for his pro career and time as an assistant coach in Atlanta and Milwaukee. But, as one player said recently, “We need to be coached, too.”

The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Sam Amick & Jovan Buha – April 30, 2024

An offseason of change for the Los Angeles Lakers could begin with a head coaching search as the organization awaits LeBron James’ decision, one that could very well shape an interesting summer around the NBA.

When is the next NBA offseason date of interest?

For the first time in two years, the Sacramento Kings will be crossing its fingers for luck during the upcoming NBA Draft Lottery.

The 2024 NBA Draft Lottery will be held on Sunday, May 12, 2024, in Chicago, where Sacramento will have the 13th-best odds of securing the top pick.

How the Lottery works: The 14 teams that missed out on the NBA playoffs are eligible for the Draft Lottery. The final odds were determined after the regular season, and tie breaks were settled between teams with identical regular season records.

NBA Offseason Schedule

  • Sunday, May 12 – NBA Draft Lottery
  • Wednesday, June 26-Thursday, June 27th – 2024 NBA Draft
  • Sunday, June 30th – Free Agent negotiating window opens (3 PM PST)
  • Saturday, July 6th – Free Agents can officially sign contracts
  • July 12-22nd – Las Vegas Summer League
  • July 27-August 11th – 2024 Olympic Games
  • Friday, September 27th – NBA training camps begin

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