By Adam Thompson | | 4 mins
Next LA Lakers Head Coach Odds: Jay Wright Among Likely Candidates
The Los Angeles Lakers will be looking for a head coach this offseason. There is no shortage of possibilities.
Frank Vogel was relieved of his duties after the Lakers (33-49) missed the playoffs. With an oft-injured roster that included LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, the Lakers’ failures are considered one of the biggest flops in NBA history.
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The Lakers head coaching job, however, is considered one of basketball’s five-diamond gigs. But it can also come with a short leash and a lot of stress.
Los Angeles Lakers 2022-23 Head Coach
|Sam Cassell||76ers asst.||+500|
|Doc Rivers||76ers HC||+550|
|Quin Snyder||Jazz HC||+550|
|Kenny Atkinson||Warriors asst.||+850|
|Mike Brown||Warriors asst.||+1000|
|David Fizdale||Lakers asst.||+1000|
|Steve Clifford||Magic HC||+1150|
|Jay Wright||Villanova HC||+1200|
|Mike D'Antoni||Pelicans advisor||+1250|
|Juwan Howard||Michigan HC||+2000|
|Nick Nurse||Raptors HC||+2500|
|Phil Handy||Lakers asst.||+2500|
|LeBron James||Lakers F||+15000|
Quin Snyder has been a successful coach in Utah for eight seasons. If the Jazz suffer another disappointing playoff exit, however, they may make a change. If so, Snyder will be scooped up quickly by some team.
Doc Rivers has long been considered a possible Lakers head coach. He was with the Clippers for seven years before joining Philadelphia in 2020-21. The Sixers are a title contender; would he leave Philly just to deal with the drama of a non-playoff team? His fondness for L.A. is well known.
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If anyone is going from Philly to L.A. it might be Sam Cassell, a top assistant and “players' coach” who has a decade of assistant experience, most of it under Rivers. He’s due for his first head gig, and if the Lakers like Rivers but can’t secure him, perhaps Cassell is the next best option.
Assistants Kenny Atkinson and Mike Brown have connections and good reputations, but also poor records as head coaches. The same goes for David Fizdale, a Lakers assistant who was just 1-5 with this roster when Vogel was out with Covid protocols and a disaster in New York.
Villanova coach Jay Wright retired from his college head coaching post earlier this month to take up an ambassadorial role at the school. He certainly has the credentials (including two national championships) and the stoic, cool demeanor to deal with the ultra-rich and powerful athletes of the NBA.
On Tuesday, he appeared to leave the door open to one day coaching in the NBA. He told ESPN: "Right now I definitely need a break. I'm looking forward to this [special assistant] position at Villanova. But honestly, down the road, I'd be lying [if I said I hadn't thought about the NBA] - I don't know what I'm going to feel like."