Before the Los Angeles Lakers can even attempt to get back into the NBA contender conversation, they’re going to have to find a replacement for former head coach Frank Vogel, whom they fired practically right after the buzzer sounded on their final regular-season game. The Lakers’ coaching search is expected to be a far-reaching one, with everyone from former Golden State Warriors coach and current broadcaster Mark Jackson to Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse reportedly on the table.
The Lakers will also look at candidates who have never held a head-coaching position, which has been a relatively popular move around the league in recent years. To that end, the Lakers requested permission to interview Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. This comes after they requested permission to interview Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham for the head coach position, per Charania.
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Griffin has been an assistant under Nick Nurse in Toronto since 2018, and he helped lead the Raptors to their first NBA title in 2019. As such, he’s well respected around the league’s landscape. Prior to his time in Toronto, Griffin also served as an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Most expect the Lakers to select a coach with prior NBA experience to lead LeBron James, Anthony Davis and whatever the rest of the roster looks like next season. However, recently we’ve seen first-time head coaches like Taylor Jenkins in Memphis, Ime Udoka in Boston, Chris Finch in Minnesota and Willie Green in New Orleans have immediate success. No matter whom the Lakers end up choosing, you can expect the search to be expansive for a franchise that’s clearly in win-now mode after an extremely disappointing season.