Lakers Notes: Ham, Backcourt, Murray, Reddish, Schröder

After ESPN’s Dave McMenamin and Substack reporter Marc Stein suggested earlier this week that Lakers head coach Darvin Ham isn’t in any immediate danger of losing his job, two more reports have confirmed as much — in even stronger terms.

According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss sent a “long text message” to Ham reiterating her support for him. Meanwhile, Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report says that both Buss and president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka have informed Ham that his job isn’t in any jeopardy.

“I speak to Rob every day and we’re always discussing ways to improve our team and what we can do better as a coaching staff,” Ham told Haynes after the Lakers dipped back below .500 with a Thursday loss to Phoenix. “It’s an open dialogue that I embrace and that is helpful. We’re all trying to get this right and we will.”

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • As they scour the trade market, the Lakers are seeking “speed and quickness” in their backcourt, according to Haynes, who adds that the team would like to be able to play faster offensively and to acquire a guard who plays solid point-of-attack defense. Rival executives expect the Lakers – along with the Raptors, among others – to begin talking more seriously to Atlanta about Dejounte Murray in the near future, Haynes writes, though he cautions that the Hawks are making it known they’d be comfortable hanging onto Murray and revisiting his trade market in the offseason.
  • The Lakers appeared to have broken out of their recent slump with victories over the Clippers and Raptors earlier this week, but Thursday’s blowout loss at home to the Suns was a discouraging setback, writes Jovan Buha of The Athletic. “I think it’s just a lot of holes in our system right now,” D’Angelo Russell said. “You use the regular season to figure those things out, the ups and downs, the digression, the setbacks, all these things. Injuries just keep playing a part in our success. … I think we can still find the light at the end of the tunnel. We just got to get better, got to keep getting better.”
  • Lakers forward Cam Reddish, who missed games in December due to right knee and left groin ailments, continues to deal with leg issues. He left Thursday’s contest early after experiencing left knee soreness, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
  • As part of a larger conversation with Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, Raptors guard Dennis Schröder looked back on the 2021 extension offer from the Lakers that he turned down. The guard’s former representatives advised him to pass on it, Fischer writes. “I would have signed it,” Schröder said. “I would never just leave money on the table. My mom didn’t raise me that way.” While reports at the time indicated the offer was worth $80MM+ over four years, Fischer suggested in a follow-up tweet that that figure may have been overstated.
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