Lakers reportedly ramping up coaching search, showing interest in J.J. Redick, Borrego, others

Dallas Mavericks v New Orleans Pelicans
Dallas Mavericks v New Orleans Pelicans

The NBA Draft Combine in Chicago this week is when offseason talks between front offices start to get serious and, with that, it's when rumors start flying.

For the Lakers, that means ramping up their coaching search to find a replacement for Darvin Ham, something Adrian Wojnarowski talked about at ESPN, adding that this will be a long process.

"A couple of names to watch in this search. James Borrego, the top assistant in New Orleans, they went from the [ranked] 21, 22 offense in the league last year to a top 10 offense... Borrego had a good run his head coach in Charlotte went from 23 to 33 to 43 wins. He was obviously with Gregg Popovich for a long time in San Antonio. He'll be a candidate in this process.

"Another candidate is someone who hasn't coached, and that's our colleague here at ESPN, J.J. Reddick. He is certainly somebody that the Lakers are drilling down on, they're making calls and trying to get a sense of what a head coach, head coach J.J. Reddick would look like."

Those are far from the only names flying around. Jovan Buha of The Athletic suggested that several top assistants are being considered: Micah Nori (Minnesota), David Adelman (Denver), Sean Sweeney (Dallas), and Chris Quinn (Miami). Another name mentioned around the league is Warriors assistant and former Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson.

One question to consider: Would the Lakers go with another first-time head coach after Ham?

It's possible Redick can be another Steve Kerr, someone who can transition quickly from the broadcast booth to high-level coach (although Kerr had been a GM in Phoneix, he'd been in a front office). It's also possible Redick could be another Steve Nash. We'll never know until he is in the job — and the same is true of qualified assistants like Nori and Quinn. It's impossible to say how someone will handle the job until they have done it for a while.

Can the Lakers take that risk finding out considering LeBron James' window, or do they need more of a known quantity such as Borrego or Atkinson? (Tyronn Lue also fits that group, but he remains under contract with the Clippers, who are trying to extend him, and Steve Ballmer will not let Lue walk to coach their in-city rivals.) The pattern of the Rob Pelinka Lakers has been to react to the last decision that didn't work and swing 180 degrees, which would suggest the Lakers lean into experience. However, everything seems on the table right now.

The only thing that seems certain is this will be a long process.

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