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Lakers should prioritize Anthony Davis over LeBron James in coaching search

One NBA source believes that the Los Angeles Lakers should focus more on Anthony Davis than LeBron James with their head coaching search, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Jovan Buha.

“As one source briefed on the situation said, ‘This should be more of a hire about AD than LeBron,’” Charania and Buha wrote.

The Lakers are in the process of looking for a new coach after they moved on from Darvin Ham after just two seasons. Ham led the team to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, but the Lakers needed to win in the play-in tournament in both campaigns just to get there.

According to Charania and Buha, J.J. Redick, James Borrego and Sam Cassell are the leading candidates in the Lakers’ initial coaching search.

Los Angeles has also been linked to Miami Heat assistant coach Chris Quinn and Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Sean Sweeney.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka is looking for a “grinder” with the franchise’s next head coach.

James, 39, has a player option for the 2024-25 season that he could decline to become an unrestricted free agent. The Lakers would love to have the four-time champion back on the roster, especially after he put together another strong season in the 2023-24 campaign.

That could lead to the team making sure it hires a coach that James is fond of this offseason.

“James is expected to play up to two more NBA seasons, one source briefed on his thinking said,” Charania and Buha wrote. “That means this coach will likely be the final coach of James’ career in the scenario that he re-signs with the Lakers.”

The Lakers are also open to signing James to a new deal – and potentially drafting his son Bronny – in the offseason.

“Los Angeles is open to discussing any deal framework for James to return, as well as potentially drafting Bronny James in next month’s NBA Draft, according to team sources,” Charania and Buha wrote.

Davis, who is under contract for multiple seasons, is younger than the elder James and likely will be the face of the franchise once the 20-time All-Star decides to retire.

If the Lakers can find a coach that both star players want to play for, it certainly would go a long way for their morale and future with the franchise.

The elder James and Davis led the Lakers to an NBA title in the 2019-20 season, but they’ve made it past the first round of the playoffs just one time since.