The Los Angeles Lakers have their head coach of the future in Darvin Ham. The team gave the former Milwaukee Bucks assistant a four-year contract, which is longer than what Frank Vogel got when he was hired in 2019. It also appears that he’ll have a bit more say over his coaching staff and roster than Vogel ever did.
Ham is wasting little time in figuring out how he wants to construct the roster. Almost half of the players on the Lakers’ roster last season are set to be free agents this offseason. That’s likely a good thing considering how disappointing the team was. It’s up to vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka to get the roster in a good spot but Ham will certainly help figure things out.
Though the real free agency is still a few weeks out, the Lakers can look at players who weren’t on rosters at the end of the season. According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, Los Angeles worked out Langston Galloway, Kyle Guy, Alize Johnson, Louis King and D.J. Wilson.
None have been signed yet but this is a great chance to see if the team can find some gems in free agency on the cheap and see what they can do before actual free agency boots up.
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Notable Players Lakers Worked Out
Perhaps the most notable player the Lakers worked out was Wilson. The 26-year-old forward came into the NBA as a first-round pick of the Milwaukee Bucks in 2017. He was with the team for three and a half seasons and was coached by Ham for most of that tenure. He’s got good size at 6-foot-10 and Ham knows him well.
Galloway has bounced around the NBA since 2014 and spent some time with the Bucks and Ham this season. The guard is the oldest of the group at 30. None of the other players who worked out have ties to the Bucks. All of them have been NBA journeymen throughout their careers but they’re all relativity young outside of Galloway. It’s possible the Lakers sign a couple of them and give them a chance to compete for a roster spot this offseason.
Lakers Looking to Get Draft Pick
While the Lakers have gotten flack for not having any young talent, the team has actually drafted well and found impact undrafted rookies. Players like Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac, Alex Caruso and more were all found by the team and have had productive NBA careers. Right now, the Lakers don’t have any draft picks but Pelinka is hoping to change that.
“So yeah, one of the intentional sort of philosophical, architectural visions for us is to get younger and Coach Ham has a passion for developing players,” Pelinka told Spectrum SportsNet. “So it would be a goal for us to try to somehow get into the second round to get a young player that we can develop. We’ve had great success if you look at our draft history and the guys we’ve drafted and developed. We think we can do it again in 2022 if we can pull off a trade to get a pick.”