NBA insider hints that Lakers won't be Darvin Ham's last head coaching gig

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski says that Darvin Ham could land another head coaching gig following his firing by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Dec 21, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham looks on against
Dec 21, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham looks on against / Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Being the head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers carries high expectations, with the top priority being winning the NBA Championship. If the team isn't close to lifting the Larry O'Brien Trophy, the head coach is usually the first to go.

Despite being on the job for just two seasons, Darvin Ham was informed by the Lakers on Friday that he was being relieved of his duties. This comes after a 90-74 record in the regular season and leading the Lakers to the Western Conference Finals in his first year on the job. But with how the Lakers played down the stretch this season and with their first-round playoff elimination by the Denver Nuggets, the expectation was that Ham would be let go.

Having the opportunity to be a head coach in the NBA is lucrative and doesn't come around often. For Ham, his Lakers stint may not be his last as an NBA head coach.

Darvin Ham expected to be an NBA coaching candidate in future

During an appearance on SportsCenter, ESPN senior NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski noted that Ham could be a candidate for a head coaching job in the near future.

"Darvin Ham's expected to be a head coaching candidate elsewhere in this league, whether it's in this cycle or in the future," said Wojnarowski.

Thus far, there are only two head coaching vacancies -- the Washington Wizards and the Charlotte Hornets.

The Wizards fired Wes Unseld Jr. after 43 games this season, where he held a 7-36 record. Overall, Unseld Jr. held a 77-130 record in three years with no playoff berths. Now, Unseld Jr. is part of the Wizards' front office. Brian Keefe is currently filling in on an interim basis.

As for the Hornets, Steve Clifford informed the organization that he would be stepping down as head coach, citing the 82-game season and the losing the team went through since he took over in 2022. However, Clifford plans to stay on as an advisor.

There is a chance that more openings could become available. Ham's tenure may not have ended on the most positive of notes, blowing double-digit leads to the Nuggets in all four of their losses in the first round, but he did coach the Lakers to a Western Conference Finals appearance last year and to winning records in each of his two seasons.

While one door closed, another one may open up for Ham soon.