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With the NBA draft and free agency dates approaching, teams around the league are beginning to finalize head coaching hires to prepare for next season.
However, there are still a few teams without a head coach just yet. Among them are the Washington Wizards, who are still searching for a replacement for former head coach Scott Brooks.
There’s still plenty of quality candidates available for a job, but the Wizards need to move fast so the team can be on the right page for draft selections and free-agent signings.
As the Wizards continue to interview candidates, the Los Angeles Lakers reportedly had an assistant coach in the mix.
According to Kyle Goon of Southern California News Group, the Wizards interviewed Lakers assistant Phil Handy:
“Turning 50 next month, Phil Handy figures to be a part of other memorable runs. While he’s made no indication that he is leaving Los Angeles, he does have ambitions to be a head coach someday. Two people with knowledge of the situation told SCNG that Handy interviewed for the Washington Wizards head coaching job last month. More such interviews are likely in the coming years for a coach who has been on a number of winning staffs.”
Handy has been with the Lakers since 2019 when Frank Vogel became the head coach. Handy previously served as an assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers. His expertise is touted as among the best since teams he’s coached have often appeared in the NBA Finals.
It’s unclear how Washington values Handy to take over, but he wouldn’t be the only Lakers assistant involved in a possible departure this offseason.
Former assistant Jason Kidd left to become the next head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, and L.A. replaced him with David Fizdale. Lionel Hollins was also in the mix for the lead assistant role for the Portland Trail Blazers, but Portland opted for Brooks.