The Lakers are down to three candidates in their search for their next head coach. On Sunday morning, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Michigan basketball coach Juwan Howard would've been one of the frontrunners for the job if he so desired.
"University of Michigan coach Juwan Howard recently declined a Los Angeles Lakers overture for the franchise's coaching job, electing to remain at his alma mater, where Howard will coach his two sons next season, sources told ESPN."
Howard was a prominent name during the early stages of the LA's quest to find a new head coach. Howard and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka played at Michigan together, but more importantly, the fifth overall pick in the 1994 draft has plenty of history with Lakers superstar LeBron James.
Although he was a nominal role player, the one-time All-Star was a fixture on LeBron's Heat teams that won back-to-back titles (2012 & 2013).
Woj specified that the Lakers front office never made Howard an official offer.
"The Lakers never made a formal offer to Howard, sources said, but it's clear that if he had expressed an interest in the job, his candidacy would've moved quickly to that stage."
The NBA's preeminent reporter noted why Howard could have been a good fit for the Lakers head coaching gig.
"Like Howard, Ham is another ex-player with strong leadership, presence, winning experience and tactical understanding from past work with high-level head coaches."
The Lakers will be conducting their next round of interviews in-person in Los Angeles. Darvin Ham, Terry Stotts, and Kenny Atkinson are the three candidates vying for the position.