Lakers Coach Search Just Got More Complicated

With another attractive head coaching opening now available, the Los Angeles Lakers need to act quickly to hire their new coach.
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

It has been weeks since the Los Angeles Lakers parted ways with Darvin Ham. There are rumors swirling around about who the next head coach will be but there hasn't been much progress on that front yet. However, the latest news around the league suggests that the Lakers need to speed up their hiring process if they want to end up with one of their top candidates.

The Cleveland Cavaliers fired JB Bickerstaff on Thursday morning. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson and Pelicans assistant James Borrego are the frontrunners in Cleveland's search. This severely complicates the Lakers' coaching search as both of those names are among the shortlist of candidates for Los Angeles.

Lakers Top Coaching Choices Also Getting Attention Elsewhere

There have already been reports about Borrego interviewing with the Lakers. Atkinson has similarly been on the Lakers' radar despite any reports of an interview.

If the Lakers think they can hire whichever head coach they want just because they are the Lakers, they are mistaken. The Cleveland Cavaliers may not be a dream destination but it is a significantly easier job than the Lakers. The Eastern Conference is much less competitive, the Cavs already have a playoff-level roster, and coaches don't face the same level of scrutiny the Lakers head coaches face on a regular basis.

Being the Lakers head coach is a difficult task. Despite the fact that Darvin Ham did a respectable job, making the playoffs two seasons in a row and making the Conference Finals with an ill-fitting roster, he was ruthlessly criticized. The same will continue to happen to whoever the new coach is.

Therefore, there is a chance the Cavs might be able to lure one of the Lakers' top options. General manager Rob Pelinka and the ownership need to act fast to make sure they don't miss out on their candidate of choice.

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