Bucks assistant Darvin Ham and former Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts have advanced to the final round of interviews for the Lakers‘ head coaching job, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).
Former Nets coach and current Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson is also among the Lakers’ finalists, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link), who says the next round of meetings is expected to occur in person in Los Angeles.
Charania doesn’t definitively state that the Lakers have eliminated all but those three candidates, but his wording suggests that’s the case. Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin, Bucks assistant Charles Lee, and former Warriors coach Mark Jackson were among the other candidates who reportedly interviewed with L.A.
Ham, a veteran assistant on Mike Budenholzer‘s staff in Milwaukee, is said to be a “serious candidate” for the Hornets’ head coaching vacancy as well. Ham has received consideration from multiple teams with head coaching openings in recent years and interviewed with Sacramento before the Kings hired Mike Brown.
Stotts, who is also in the mix for the Charlotte job, spent 10 years in Portland before he and the organization reached a mutual agreement to part ways after the end of the 2020/21 season. Stotts ranks second on the Blazers’ all-time wins list with 402 and previously had brief head coaching stints in Atlanta and Milwaukee.
Atkinson led the Nets to 118-190 (.383) record from 2016-20, though that underwhelming mark was due in large part to the fact that he took over a rebuilding team. He took Brooklyn to the playoffs in 2019, but was let go the following season after the team added Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Like the Lakers’ other two finalists, he is believed to still be a contender for the Hornets’ job.
The Lakers are seeking a head coach who can lead the team back to the postseason – and, ideally, title contention – following a disappointing 2021/22 campaign that resulted in Frank Vogel‘s ouster.