4-Time All-Star & NBA Champion Will No Longer Join Lakers: Report

Lakers' Rob Pelinka and Darvin Ham

Getty Lakers' Rob Pelinka and Darvin Ham

A four-time All-Star and NBA champion will reportedly no longer join the Los Angeles Lakers this summer.

According to a July 25 report from Shams Charania of The Athletic, Rasheed Wallace won’t be joining new Lakers head coach Darvin Ham’s staff.

“After further conversations, former NBA All-Star Rasheed Wallace will no longer join new Lakers coach Darvin Ham’s staff, sources said,” Charania wrote. “Wallace served as an assistant under Penny Hardaway at the University of Memphis last season.”

Charania reported on June 6 that Wallace “was recently identified as a candidate for Ham’s staff.” As members of the Detroit Pistons, Ham and Wallace won the 2004 championship over the Lakers, who missed the playoffs last season despite having LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.

Since retiring in 2013, Wallace has gained coaching experience in high school, college and the NBA, with stops at Charles E. Jordan High School in North Carolina, the University of Memphis and the Pistons.

Wallace finished his NBA career with averages of 14.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 1,109 games with the Washington Bullets, Portland Trail Blazers, Atlanta Hawks, Pistons, Boston Celtics and New York Knicks.

Kevin Garnett Was Excited About Wallace Joining Lakers

Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett was excited about Wallace’s possibility of joining the Lakers. On June 11, Garnett spoke about Wallace’s potential impact on James and Davis.

“My dog Sheed Wallace on the bench with big Ham. I think this is great for this Laker team,” Garnett said on “KG Certified.” “I think Anthony Davis needs an influence that he can have. Someone in his ear. Listen, Rasheed Wallace is one of the best f***in’ power forwards and players to ever play in our league. He’s full of knowledge. He hasn’t shared that knowledge with the world, but I talk basketball with him several times. He is nothing below a genius and a mastermind when it comes to the block. He understands everything about both ends of the ball when it comes to scoring and also defending. I think he’s gonna be great for Anthony Davis. I think he’s gonna be great for LeBron James. I think he’s gonna be great for this Laker team. Straight up and down.”

During his introductory press conference with the Lakers on June 6, Ham said Wallace was a “candidate” to join him in LA. It’s unknown why Wallace won’t be on the Lakers next season.

Lakers Still Trying to Trade Westbrook

The Lakers are still trying to trade Westbrook, who was second in the league in turnovers and had the sixth-worst effective field goal percentage last season. Charania reported on July 25 that “Utah, New York and Indiana are among the teams who have discussed deals with the Lakers” involving Westbrook.

“Utah, New York and Indiana are among the teams who have discussed deals with the Lakers involving Russell Westbrook and draft capital, sources said,” Charania wrote. “There appears no deal imminent in those conversations — as the overall trade market plays out over the next two months of the offseason.”

Westbrook picked up his $47.1 million player option with the Lakers for next season. The 2016-17 MVP started 78 games last season and averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists while shooting 44.4% from the field, 29.8% from beyond the arc and 66.7% from the free-throw line.

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