The Lakers have requested permission to interview Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin for their head coaching vacancy, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (video link).
Raptors president and chairman Masai Ujiri said at his end-of-season press conference yesterday that he has been receiving calls for interviews with Griffin and other Raptors assistant coaches, per Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca (Twitter link).
“I think Adrian is right there on the cusp of becoming a head coach in this league,” Ujiri said.
Griffin started his NBA career as a player, appearing in 477 games (179 starts) across nine NBA seasons from 1999-2008 with career averages of 4.0 points and 3.2 rebounds in 16.9 minutes. He made a quick transition to coaching, getting his start at just 34 years of age, the season after he retired as a player (2008/09).
Griffin, now 47, has been an assistant coach with the Bucks, Bulls, Magic, Thunder and Raptors over the past 14 seasons, having been with Toronto since 2018/19, when the team won the championship. Griffin’s son, AJ Griffin, is a projected lottery pick in the upcoming 2022 draft.
The Lakers were rumored to be interested in Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, but both Nurse and Ujiri recently poured cold water on that idea. Griffin is now the second official candidate interviewing for the Lakers lead coaching job, following Bucks assistant Darvin Ham.
In case you missed it, you can keep track of all the ongoing head coaching searches here.