Much of the chatter surrounding the Lakers head coaching search is centered on the idea of the front office hiring an established name. Luring Quin Snyder away from Utah seems improbable and getting Nick Nurse out of Toronto is impossible.
Which is why the Lakers might have to roll the dice with a current assistant coach who already has come credibility in NBA circles. The prospect already appears to be on the radar for Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and senior basketball adviser Kurt Rambis.
Over the weekend, the Lakers received permission to interview Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham.
According to veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein, Ham is the best choice if the Lakers decide to pluck an assistant from another coaching staff to fill their head coaching vacancy.
"Milwaukee's Darvin Ham is the most sensible name from the league's assistant coaching ranks because A) Ham is long overdue for his head-coaching shot and B) he has the requisite personality and presence to embrace the challenge of coaching James."
However, Stein did note that it's somewhat hard to believe the Lakers would hire a rookie head coach to lead a roster that currently has LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook. Managing those egos is a challenging task, to say the least.
"It's simply difficult to imagine that the Lakers, after a humbling 33-49 season, would turn to a candidate with no head-coaching experience to fill a role that will carry immense win-now pressure."
Ham has been an assistant in the NBA since 2011. He actually began his coaching career as a member of Mike Brown's Lakers staff before going on to join Mike Budenholzer in Atlanta. When Budenholzer went to Milwaukee, so did Ham. So he might not have head coaching experience, but he does have championship experience.
Stein also provided a footnote on the Lakers potentially hiring Mark Jackson.
"Jackson is indeed on the Lakers' list if he doesn't get the Sacramento job, but I don't get the sense — yet — that he has a strong chance in L.A."