As the Lakers continue to research their next head coach and figure out how to rebuild their roster, there will be plenty of rumors about what the front office will consider on both fronts.
Both topics are the subject of today’s rumor roundup.
Lakers not considering LeBron James, Anthony Davis trade
File this one under “no duh”, but despite suggestions from prominent media personalities as Stephen A. Smith and Bill Plaschkethe Lakers aren’t going to entertain LeBron James and Anthony Davis trades this summer.
On Thursday, there were several reports that the team wouldn’t consider swapping James – even if he doesn’t sign extension in August – and it looks like the protection extends to Davis as well.
Nope, not even for Kyrie Irvingas Kendrick Perkins suggested on Friday morning.
On Athleticism Podcast “The Forum Club”Lakers reporters Bill Oram and Jovan Buha were the latest to discuss whispers that general manager Rob Pelinka only has one year to fix this team before he risks being firedand in doing so, Oram made it clear that the team wasn’t even discussing business possibilities internally featuring one of their stars (emphasis mine):
Boo: “I think Rob is safe for at least this next season, but if they can’t turn the tide and they have a similar season, I think there’s a chance they’ll move on. .”
Oram: “I would just like to support what you are saying there. It can’t be another disaster. And Jeanie Buss is watching closely. It’s a really complicated situation for Pelinka to manage. Especially when there’s (external) talk about “oh, should the Lakers trade AD or LeBron to start rebuilding assets and get some players back and get out of this salary cap pickle they’re in?” And all i’ve been told is that the Lakers aren’t considering those options. So your options for building the team are really limited and that really makes it harder for Rob to maneuver.
That makes it harder, and the Lakers will surely weigh all their options, but the idea that they were ever going to trade James or Davis at rock bottom was still laughable.
However, that doesn’t mean this front office doesn’t have crazy business ideas, because…
The Lakers have discussed a trade with Kyrie Irving
Yes, and apparently they even did it before Big Perk floated the idea on Friday. Because according to SNY’s Ian Begleythe team had discussions about Irving with the Nets while Irving was absent from the team due to his choice not to comply with New York’s previously strict COVID-19 vaccine mandate (it’s me who highlighted):
Multiple outlets, including SNY, reported that the Nets had been open to talking to teams about potential Irving trades during this time. Obviously, nothing worked. But some members of the Lakers organization have discussed the possibility of trading for Irving during this part of the season, sources say.
The deal would obviously have reunited Irving with LeBron James. It’s unclear if the Lakers reached an internal consensus on Irving at the time. And it doesn’t really matter at this point. Given where Brooklyn is right now, it would be surprising if the club didn’t sign Irving to a multi-year extension/new contract this summer as he continues to chase a title.
Now what were the Lakers offering? It’s fair to assume it was likely a Russell Westbrook-centric package, a deal that – hilariously – would require the Nets to add salary if they wanted to reunite the former All-Star with his Thunder Buddies Kevin Durant and James Harden. So even if Los Angeles was dangling its first round of 2027 tied to Westbrook, it’s not hard to guess why that deal didn’t go through.
And if the Lakers really aren’t interested in trading Davis this summer, it’s hard to see a path to a deal now for Irving either, no matter how often Takesmith’s industrial complex pushes it at us. But no one can accuse Pelinka of not doing at least the same level of due diligence on wild star trades as the most annoying guy in your fantasy league.
That must count for something, right?
Phil Handy may not be a candidate for Lakers head coach job
None of these groups include Phil Handy, who is still listed as an assistant coach on the team’s official websiteand made headlines this week saying he’s “ready to be a head coach” as the organization that has employed him for the past three seasons is going through its own very public coaching search.
According to Bill Oram of Athleticismwhich should not change, as he reported on the aforementioned “Forum Club” episode that Handy isn’t a name he’s heard the team is considering in their search (emphasis mine):
“Phil Handy has been an assistant with the Lakers for the past three seasons, and obviously had a lot of success as an assistant coach, has a long history with LeBron James, and has interviewed for head coaching positions. in the past, in Washington a year ago. Not a name I’ve heard, however, in terms of internal the Lakers are watching Phil Handy.
“Whether it’s because of a global coaching staff reset or because he’s not delivering exactly what they’re looking for, hard to say. But I mean obviously (he’s) revered as a skills coach in the NBA and this job requires a lot of management skills, which I think Phil Handy actually has in terms of respecting players, but as you were talking about Jovan, the tactical side of things is going to be so important, especially since the Lakers are probably going to have to get creative again, because it’s going to be tough to build this roster from top to bottom with real, complete depth… So I don’t know if Phil Handy is a guy you’re going to see in the later stages of this coaching search..”
Oram is definitely from the Lakers, but it’s still a bit of a surprise to hear, because despite the lack of buzz around his name so far, Handy would have been the Lakers persona. would have named his interim coach if he fired Frank Vogel mid-season. I kind of assumed he would at least be an option now that they’ve actually fired him.
In hindsight, however, perhaps they didn’t take out Vogel and then point to a lack of confidence in Handy’s willingness to lead the team. But still, while they’re obviously familiar with what he brings to the table after employing him for almost two calendar years, it would still be odd if he didn’t even get an interview when the The team casts a wide net as they search for their next leader off the bench. Maybe that will change, but it certainly seems like even if it does, we shouldn’t expect Handy to get the job as things stand.
If that means the end of his second stint in Los Angeles if he (understandably) doesn’t want to work for a new head coach and would rather choose his next boss, it would be an unfortunate end to what started as a return home where Handy got his first NBA coaching job.