Lakers ‘real’ candidates for next head coach both have strong connection to LeBron James: report

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With Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham expected to be relieved of his duties soon, candidates for who takes over have already been reported. 

According to ESPN, two “real” candidates for Ham’s successor both have strong connections to LeBron James, whose future with the franchise is in limbo, as he has yet to make his intentions known with his 2024-25 player option. 

Tyronn Lue, who coached James and the Cleveland Cavaliers during their 2015-16 NBA title run, and JJ Redick, who currently co-hosts a podcast with James called “Mind the Game Pod,” are those two candidates. 

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Tyronn Lue claps

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue gestures during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons, in Detroit on Oct. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

Between the two, Lue is the only one with head coaching experience with 529 games under his belt with the Cavs (211) and Los Angeles Clippers, who he has been coaching since the 2020-21 season. 

Lue is a career 312-217 as a head coach. He was also an assistant with the Boston Celtics, Cavaliers and Clippers throughout his coaching career. 

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Redick may not have coaching experience, but he is someone who is highly respected in the NBA. The Athletic also recently reported that the Charlotte Hornets will interview him for their head coach vacancy. 

Redick has been a broadcaster with ESPN since he decided to retire from the league after 16 seasons. 

JJ Redick broadcasts

JJ Redick announces the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena on Oct. 26, 2022 in Denver. (Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)

The reason many believe Redick could thrive as a coach is because of his high IQ for the game, as well as his ability to explain those technical aspects of the game with players. 

Rumors of what James will be doing next season began swirling after the Lakers lost to the Denver Nuggets in five games during their first-round series. 

However, James settled them down with a post on social media. 

“I’ve seen, heard a lot of reports about my future. I said it last night and I’ll say it again,” James posted on X earlier this week. “I do not know yet as I’m only thinking about spending time with my family & friends! When I know after speaking with the fam, my counsel as well as my representation about it then you guys will know. Until then [silent emoji]. Love.”

LeBron James shrugs

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James gestures to a referee during the first half in Game 3 of an NBA basketball Western Conference semifinal against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, May 6, 2023 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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The Lakers would obviously love James, the all-time leading scorer in NBA history, back with them for another season. Additionally, if Ham is indeed fired, having a head coach he gels with could go a long way in him exercising that player option. 

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