Lakers ‘Intrigued’ by 15-Year NBA Vet, LeBron James’ Associate as Next Coach: Report

Darvin Ham, LeBron James

Getty Former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham speaks with LeBron James on the sideline during an NBA game.

The Los Angeles Lakers have hit the reset button yet again on their coaching staff and as the search for a new lead man begins, one familiar name has emerged among the prominent candidates.

That name belongs to JJ Reddick, current ESPN analyst and broadcaster, who is also a 15-year veteran of the NBA and co-hosts the new “Mind the Game” podcast with Lakers star LeBron James. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke that news via the Saturday, May 11 edition of “NBA Countdown” on ABC.

“Their search is gonna ramp up this week, I’m told. [GM Rob] Pelinka, the Lakers front office, they’ll be in Chicago for the league’s draft combine. You can expect them to start calling for permission to talk to coaches around the league, assistants,” Wojnarowski reported. “But one name that the Lakers have been drilling down on in their initial research here — JJ Reddick, our colleague at ESPN. He is certainly somebody that the Lakers are intrigued with. They’ve been making a lot of calls to try to learn more about him. But expect this to be a wide-ranging and a lengthy search.”

JJ Reddick’s Successful NBA Career Bolsters Candidacy for Lakers Head Coaching Job

JJ Reddick

GettyFormer NBA player JJ Reddick is among the top candidates for the Los Angeles Lakers’ head coaching position early in the team’s search to replace Darvin Ham.

Reddick spent a decade and a half in the league, including multiple-year stints with the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers and New Orleans Pelicans. The sharpshooting guard also played partial seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks (2012-13) and the Dallas Mavericks (2020-21).

Reddick retired following the 2020-21 campaign, leaving the league with career averages of 12.8 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists per game, according to Basketball Reference. He was a career 41.5% 3-point shooter on 5 attempts per night.

As a part-time starter (starting 488 of 940 career NBA games), Reddick averaged 25.5 minutes per contest and contributed to teams that were largely successful and often prevalent in the playoffs. Reddick played on the 2009 Magic team that bested James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals and earned a trip to the NBA Finals against the Lakers. Los Angeles bested Orlando in five games in what was Reddick’s closest run to a title.

Charlotte Hornets Seriously Considered JJ Reddick for Head Coaching Vacancy This Cycle

Lakers GM Rob Pelinka

Getty Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka.

Reddick’s professional, and apparently personal, relationship with James should be a mark in his favor when it comes to L.A.’s search. His credibility as a long-time and successful NBA player will also go a long way.

Reddick doesn’t turn 40 years old until June and is only about six months older than James. However, his age may be something the team considers more of an asset than a hindrance, as it should help Reddick relate to and connect with younger players in the locker room.

The Charlotte Hornets considered Reddick for their head coaching vacancy, bringing him in for an interview, which led Shams Charania of The Athletic to report that Reddick was a “serious candidate” for the job.

Charlotte ended up hiring Charles Lee, currently an assistant coach for the Boston Celtics and also 39 years old, to run the organization. However, the Hornets’ consideration of Reddick should bolster his candidacy elsewhere, including with the Lakers.