The Los Angeles Lakers entered the 2021-’22 season with expectations and ended it without even earning a spot in the play-in tournament. It’s now time for the offseason with a Lakers coaching search and NBA trade rumors among the top storylines.
Significant changes are needed in Los Angeles. An aging roster built around an injury-plagued Anthony Davis and a 37-year-old LeBron James backfired in epic fashion. With general manager Rob Pelinka and key decision-makers in the front office staying put, the Lakers roster and coaching staff will experience the most overhaul this summer.
- Los Angeles Lakers record: 33-49, 11th in Western Conference
It starts at the top with the coaching search. Los Angeles is already looking into a deep pool of candidates, targeting marquee names with championship experience. While the vacancy is the top job available right now, factors like poor roster construction, a lack of trade assets and lingering doubts atop the organization diminish the value of this job.
If a coaching search isn’t enough for one offseason, Los Angeles must also figure out what it can do with Russell Westbrook. Separation needs to happen, it’s only a matter of biting the financial bullet by waiving him or trading one problem for another via trade.
Bookmark this page for the latest Lakers rumors and analysis on everything that goes down this offseason.
Russell Westbrook to play for Los Angles Lakers next season?
Trading Russell Westbrook felt like an inevitability this summer for the Los Angeles Lakers. It seems that is no longer the case. As part of the team’s ongoing coaching search, candidates are each being asked about how they would use the All-Star guard next season. It’s part of the reason why there is an increasing belief he stays in Los Angeles, as we dive into further at the link below.
Los Angeles Lakers coaching search – 2022 tracker
- Mark Jackson – Interviewed
- Terry Stotts – Interviewed
- Adrian Griffin – Interview request submitted to TOR
- Kenny Atkinson – Interview granted by GSW
- Charles Lee – Interview request submitted to MIL
- Darvin Ham – Interview request granted by MIL
Phil Jackson wants a LeBron James trade, wants to keep Russell Westbrook
The Los Angeles Lakers have been critiqued for having too many voices in the front office over the last few years. It seems to be an issue once again. Both Phil Jackson and Magic Johnson are reportedly having input in offseason decisions.
During an appearance on the Doug Gottlieb Show, Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times said he heard a rumor that Jackson wants to trade LeBron James this offseason and believes the Lakers should keep Westbrook to try and make it work.
It’s important to note something from Plaschke’s comments. He also noted he wasn’t able to verify the speculation and just overheard it inside the organization. It also seems unlikely that Los Angeles would trade LeBron purely on the wishes of Jackson.
Could Lakers be waiting for Quin Snyder and Doc Rivers?
The Sacramento Kings appear close to making a head coaching hire. Meanwhile, the Lakers are not. One potential reason why their search may be taking longer is their plan to wait and see if another current head coach will become available. Both Quin Snyder and Doc Rivers have been rumored to possibly become available after coming up short of expectations. According to Marc Stein, the Lakers are waiting out both situations with a keen interest in hiring either one.
Los Angeles requests an interview with Adrian Griffin
While the Lakers would love to land Nick Nurse as their next head coach, it isn’t happening. So, the franchise is targeting one of his top assistants. According to NBA insider Shams Charania, Los Angeles requested permission to interview Raptors coach Adrian Griffin.
The 47-year-old joined Toronto in 2018 and has previous stints with the Milwaukee Bucks (2008-’10), Chicago Bulls (2010-’15), Orlando Magic (2015-’16) and Oklahoma City Thunder (2016-’18).
Lakers put pressure on Frank Vogel to make Russell Westbrook experiment work
Everyone outside Los Angeles knew Russell Westbrook’s time with the Lakers wouldn’t end well. However, the franchise was desperate to see it through. According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, there was a strong sense in the NBA that “it was on Vogel to make the Westbrook experiment work.” Ultimately, it failed and now both men will be with other NBA teams for the 2022-’23 season.
Los Angeles Lakers request permission to interview Darvin Ham
While the Lakers’ coaching search might be focused on candidates with championship experience, it isn’t stopping them from looking into other top options. Shams Charania reported on April 29 that Los Angeles requested permission to interview Brooklyn Nets assistant Darvin Ham. A former Lakers’ assistant (2011-’13), Ham is believed to be one of the most coveted coaching candidates in this hiring cycle.
LeBron James contract extension not imminent, future uncertain
Since signing LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers have experienced mixed results. While the franchise’s title drought came to an end, consecutive seasons of massive disappointment have raised questions about the future.
While LeBron is eligible for a contract extension this summer, Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus reports the future Hall of Famer hasn’t even talked about the matter with Klutch Sports. it’s worth noting that the Lakers couldn’t go through with a deal until August, but LeBron’s comments in recent months do suggest this could be his final year in Los Angeles.
Terry Stotts, Scott Brooks among coaching candidates
The Lakers coaching search is only at its beginning stages, but there are two additional names being added to the mix. According to Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times, former Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts and former NBA head coach Scott Brooks are two names to keep an eye on. Stotts took a year off after being dismissed by Portland following a lengthy tenure (2012-’21).
Meanwhile, Brooks is an assistant under Chauncey Billups with the Trail Blazers following coaching stints with the Oklahoma City Thunder (2008-’15) and Washington Wizards (2016-’21).
John Wall not on Lakers’ radar
Before the NBA trade deadline last year, plenty of Lakers rumors suggested a John Wall for Russell Westbrook trade might be possible. According to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, neither side was ever particularly interested in it. The Houston Rockets insisted on the Lakers’ 2027 first-round pick being attached and Los Angeles refused. Meanwhile, the Lakers don’t want a player who everyone around the NBA knows will get a buyout this summer.
LeBron James offers to provide input for Los Angeles Lakers offseason moves
A year after he played a crucial role in the team backing out on the Buddy Hield deal to acquire Russell Westbrook, LeBron James is again offering his input to the front office if they are interested.
“If they ask me my opinion then I’ll give my opinion, but at the end of the day they’re going to make the decisions that they feel are best for the franchise.”LeBron James, via Silver Screen and Roll
It would be a surprise if Lakers’ management didn’t reach out to LeBron for his input on roster and coaching decisions. Keep in mind, the franchise plans to offer him a contract extension this offseason and making him feel like he is involved with front-office decisions might influence him to stay. Whether or not that approach is the right one to take is up for debate.
Russell Westbrook trade value ‘extremely negative’
While the Lakers desperately want to move off from Russell Westbrook this summer, it’s already proving to be a challenge. Details on how other NBA teams view him paint a clear picture, Westbrook is one of the most unwanted players in the NBA. Michael Scotto, HoopsHype’s NBA insider, spoke to a league executive who made it clear that any team acquiring the former All-Star point guard is simply not attractive to a majority of the league.
“Right now, his trade value is extremely negative. All it takes, however, is one team to be desperate to add talent and have bad contracts to make it happen. The reality is that 95 percent of teams view that as a terrible contract right now. They’re not doing that unless they’re dumping a bunch of stuff.”NBA insider Michael Scotto via The HoopsHype podcast
Los Angeles Lakers coaching search hurt by team reputation
While Rob Pellinka and Jeanie Buss might still hold this franchise in high regard, wanting a top coach to take over, that sentiment isn’t shared around the league. A combination of factors, including poor roster construction and numerous voices holding power in the organization, are all identified as problems by many executives and coaches around the NBA. As a result, it’s reportedly going to hurt the Lakers’ search for a new coach and might reduce the field of candidates.
“Concerns about meddling, too many voices, suspect contracts and obvious roster problems creating an equation that has them working from behind.”Los Angeles Times’ Dan Woike and Broderick Turner on Los Angeles Lakers’ reputation around NBA
Russell Westbrook for Gordan Hayward trade ‘unlikely’ for Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles will have very few options when it comes to a Westbrook trade. One idea thrown around the NBA linked a deal to the Charlotte Hornets with Gordon Hayward headed the other way. However, NBA insider Marc Stein shared this weekend that the Lakers are “unlikely” to have interest in a deal with Charlotte if it means taking on Hayward’s contract. The 32-year-old forward is owed a combined $31.575 million over the next two years.
Carmelo Anthony is uncertain on returning to Lakers
Carmelo Anthony signed with the Los Angeles Lakers hoping to compete for a championship. Instead, he experienced some of the same dysfunction he went through with the New York Knicks. Across 69 games (66 off the bench), Anthony averaged 13.3 points and shot 37.5% from behind the three-point line.
“I haven’t thought about next season at this point. I’m speaking very truthful and honest here. I haven’t even started thinking about my decision about next season, or what’s gonna happen, or where I’m at.”Carmelo Anthony on whether or not he’ll return to Los Angeles Lakers, via Harrison Faigen
Given that is no longer pursuing a ring, Anthony could wind up anywhere. Ultimately, a return to Los Angeles seems unlikely with other teams offering him opportunities for minutes in a more relaxed atmosphere. Heading into his age-38 season, this will likely be the last year in Anthony’s NBA career.
- Los Angeles Lakers cap space: -$41.99 million
Quin Snyder ‘less interested’ in Lakers after Frank Vogel fiasco
If the Lakers wanted Quin Snyder to replace Frank Vogel, they didn’t help themselves out with the transition. According to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Snyder is ‘less interested’ in leaving the Utah Jazz for the vacancy in Los Angeles after seeing what happened to Vogel.
The mistake was a Lakers’ source leaking to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Vogel coached his last game and would be fired. Woj’s report was published shortly before Vogel held his final press conference, leading to an awkward moment with reporters. It hurt the Lakers’ reputation and it seems might diminish their chances of landing one of the best coaches in the NBA.
Los Angeles Lakers draft picks
- 2022: NONE
- 2023: LAL 1st round pick (New Orleans Pelicans own swap rights) and LAL 2nd, CHI 2nd
- 2024: LAL 1st (Pelicans hold rights to take 2024 1st or 2025 LAL 1st), MEM/WAS 2nd
- 2025: LAL 1st (Pelicans’ rights based on 2024 decision)
- 2026: LAL 1st
- 2027: LAL 1st, LAL 2nd
Due to NBA rules barring teams from trading first-round picks in consecutive years, the 2027 first-round pick is the only first-round selection the Lakers can currently put in a trade offer.
Doc Rivers could be next Los Angeles Lakers coach
A majority of the Lakers rumors to begin the NBA offseason will center on the coaching search. Unsurprisingly, Los Angeles is first looking into head coaches that already have jobs. Doc Rivers has denied any interest in the Lakers’ vacancy (Sixers Wire), but Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer is viewed as a potential target around the league. If the 76ers don’t make it past the Eastern Conference Semis, Rivers could be fired and that could accelerate any potential Lakers’ interest in him.
Lakers rumors: Russell Westbrook’s future in Los Angeles
The Lakers would love nothing more than to rid themselves of Westbrook. The 2021 trade for the All-Star point guard yielded the results everyone, except the team itself, saw coming. Once Westbrook exercises his $47.063 million player option, everyone will be looking for a way to get him out of the building.
The Charlotte Hornets and Indiana Pacers are two teams to watch for a potential trade. However, the 33-year-old point guard carries minimal value even on an expiring contract. If the Lakers need to give up one of their few remaining assets or take on bad contracts that stretch multiple seasons, waiving Westbrook is on the table.
Los Angeles interested in Mark Jackson as head coach?
Sam Amick of The Athletic wrote an in-depth piece about the future for LeBron James and the Lakers. Among the nuggets from his story, the future Hall of Famer is a big supporter of Mark Jackson and would like to see him replace Frank Vogel. Jackson coached the Golden State Warriors from 2011 to 2014. Jackson’s Warriors went 98-66 in his final two seasons. However, the organization soured on him quickly and a team hasn’t hired him since. He does have a lot of support from players around the league.
Related: Los Angeles Lakers schedule
Nick Nurse a ‘top target’ in Lakers’ coaching search
As we mentioned above, Los Angeles wants championship experience at the helm. It highlights that the organization has no intention of hitting the reset button, even if some believe that’s the best long-term move for the team. Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse is viewed as the team’s No.1 option on its list of coaching candidates. As we detailed below, though, Nurse isn’t coming to Los Angeles.