Surprise Candidate Emerges in Lakers Coaching Search, Gets Interview

Terry Stotts, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Terry Stotts, Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers coaching search continues to take us on a rollercoaster ride, with new twists and turns emerging every day.

The latest curveball surrounding the Lakers’ coaching position came on Friday, May 6, as reports surfaced that former Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts had been interviewed by the front office.

Stotts has amassed a 517-486 record throughout his coaching career and has a reputation for favoring an offensive approach to the game. Furthermore, Stotts has experience in dealing with star players. He coached Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum for multiple seasons, leading them to the Western Conference semi-finals twice.

With so many coaches linked to the Lakers’ job, it’s no surprise that Stotts has become another candidate to watch. Still, with the likes of Mark Jackson and Quin Snyder being considered the primary front-runners for the job, the fact the former Trail Blazers coach has already interviewed for the position is somewhat of an unforeseen development.

Lakers’ Holding More Interviews

For anybody that isn’t sold on the notion of Stotts becoming the Lakers’ next head coach, fear not, as the team has requested permission to interview multiple other candidates.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Lakers have requested the opportunity to interview Toronto Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin and Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham. The team has also interviewed former Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson in recent days.

“The Lakers management are expected to take a patient, diligent approach to this coaching search,” Charania said.

Since the Lakers parted ways with Frank Vogel at the end of the season, the front office has consistently stated that they will ensure they make the right decision with their next coaching hire. By spreading their net far and wide, the Lakers are backing up those statements with their actions, which is why current assistants are receiving the same opportunities as former head coaches with experience in the league.

Stuck in Purgatory

There are issues up and down this current Lakers roster. From the future of Russell Westbrook, Malik Monks’ impending free agency, all the way through to the team’s aging and underperforming roster. The team has a lot to work through during the current off-season.

However, logic dictates that no major moves will be made until the Lakers have finalized their next coaching hire, as they look to get things off on the right foot and include the team’s next leader in the decision-making process. As such, we can expect the Lakers’ coaching search to continue picking up pace as the end of the post-season continues to draw near.

It might not seem like it right now, but there are moves to be made before the start of free agency. For instance, if the Lakers are looking to inject some youth into their roster, they may be tempted to strike a trade on draft night if there is somebody on the board who they feel could make an impact from the bench. Otherwise, the Lakers might want to do their due diligence on players who could potentially go undrafted or start reaching out to free agents to gauge their interest in coming to Tinseltown.

Regardless of the approach the front office will take in rebuilding the roster, it all starts with having a new head coach in place, and until that happens, the Lakers will remain in purgatory.

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