Within the middle of next week, Lakers assistant coach Darvin Ham will talk with the Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Bobcats, according to league sources.
Although both prospective moves are to become an assistant coach, league sources anticipate that Ham would have a much stronger role within Steve Clifford’s coaching staff in Charlotte or Mike Budenholzer’s coaching staff in Atlanta than he would under Mike D’Antoni with the Lakers.
Ham spent the past season with a wide-range of responsibilities, including player development, compiling scouting reports and working out with post players. But he wasn’t any of D’Antoni’s lead assistants and he sat behind the team’s bench.
Ham is strongly expected to leave the Lakers, according to league sources, which would leave D’Antoni with only his brother, Dan, as the remaining assistant on his coaching staff. Eddie Jordan took the Rutgers’ head-coaching job before the season ended. Shortly after the Lakres’ first-round exit to San Antonio, D’Antoni informed both Bernie Bickerstaff and Chuck Person they would not be retained. Player development coach Phil Handy joined Mike Brown’s coaching staff in Cleveland to become an assistant. And Clifford accepted the head coaching job in Charlotte.
D’Antoni had kept all of Brown’s assistants after he was fired following a 1-4 start while hiring his brother, Dan, to help oversee his offense after spending time on his staff in Phoenix and New York. It was expected that D’Antoni would trim and alter his coaching staff, though it’s not clear if it was expected the majority of his assistants would leave.
D’Antoni is expected to hire two assistant coaches and two player development coaches and could make hirings as early as next week. One possibility remains Alvin Gentry, who worked as an assistant for D’Antoni in Phoenix. But that hiring would hinge on whether Gentry would land a head-coaching spot, possibly with the Clippers.
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