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LA Lakers Rumors Roundup: Jeanie Buss faces criticism for calling Phil Jackson, NBA analyst and former champion turned down offer to be team's assistant coach, and more - May 5th, 2022

(L-R) LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Anthony Davis of the LA Lakers standing courtside
(L-R) LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Anthony Davis of the LA Lakers standing courtside
Kunal Sethi

The LA Lakers are gearing up for the 2022-23 season with players like LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook at the helm. With the star talent they have, the Purple and Gold cannot afford to have another mediocre season, and missing the playoffs is simply not an option anymore.

However, the Lakers will have to deal with limited draft and trade capital, which has led many analysts to suggest that the team is doomed. Many players, including Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard, were signed on one-year deals and might not return next season.

They also have no first-round draft picks this season and have just one second-rounder for the 2023 draft. Moreover, players like Westbrook and Davis have very little value in the trade market as one is considered a liability and the latter is injury prone. Hence, preposterous trade rumors surrounding LeBron James have already begun circulating.

.@stephenasmith has a solution for the Lakers 👀 “I think the Los Angeles Lakers should strongly consider trading LeBron James. That is what I believe.” https://t.co/CI3l7lAqJ7

Moreover, the hunt for a new head coach is still on as no worthy coach finds the vacancy appealing or the LA Lakers to be a desirable destination.

So let's take a look at some of the rumors around the LA Lakers in the past 24 hours.


LA Lakers receive permission to interview Toronto Raptors assistant coach

Toronto Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin [Source: LA Times]
Toronto Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin [Source: LA Times]

The LA Lakers are trying to get someone to fill the head coaching vacancy on their bench, but no moves for current head coaches have panned out. Names like Nick Nurse, Quin Snyder, and even former Warriors coach Mark Jackson have been ruled out.

Reports have emerged that nobody finds this job attractive as they seem bound to fail and will face nothing but scrutiny all year.

Lakers request permission to interview Toronto Raptors assistant for LA’s head coaching job, sources say: https://t.co/Ej1iSe0xqN

The LA Lakers approached the Toronto Raptors for coach Nick Nurse, but President Masai Ujiri shot them down. They have now shifted their focus to Raptors' assistant coach Adrian Griffin.

The Athletic's Shams Charania reported that the Lakers had requested permission to interview coach Griffin. Shortly after that, the LA Times announced that the franchise had received the permission.

Lakers receive permission to interview Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin latimes.com/sports/lakers/…

Griffin has been an assistant in the NBA since 2008 and was part of the Raptors' 2019 NBA championship run.


Kendrick Perkins turned down Lakers assistant coach job offer last summer

Kendrick Perkins as an ESPN analyst
Kendrick Perkins as an ESPN analyst

While Laker Nation is contemplating who the next head coach will be, a familiar face could have been part of Frank Vogel's bench last season.

Kendrick Perkins, who is currently an analyst for ESPN, was offered the assistant coaching job at the LA Lakers and the OKC Thunder. He turned them down because he loves his current role in the media and is satisfied with not returning to NBA action.

Perkins was a guest on the "Marchand & Ourand Sports Media Podcast" where he discussed a wide array of topics. He revealed that he gave up two assistant coaching offers in the NBA to continue his job at ESPN. Perkins said:

"I actually turned down two assistant coaching jobs this past summer. I was just like 'Nope, I love where I'm at right now'...I had an opportunity for the Lakers and also the...Oklahoma City Thunder."
Last off-season, @KendrickPerkins turned down offers to be an assistant coach with the Lakers and Thunder. https://t.co/KLAZYc9C2t

Jeanie Buss is facing criticism for asking former Laker legend Phil Jackson for help

Head coach Phil Jackson of the LA Lakers during the 2010 NBA Finals
Head coach Phil Jackson of the LA Lakers during the 2010 NBA Finals

The LA Lakers have been accused of not changing the way they work despite the rest of the league adapting to the shifting landscape of player movement and development.

The Purple and Gold have always been about star players and championships and not about player development and draft picks. Unless an individual turns out to be someone like Kobe Bryant or Magic Johnson, chances are that they will get traded for a superstar.

However, the experiment hasn't worked as they would have liked in recent times. They traded away all their youth for Anthony Davis and although they got themselves a championship out of it in 2020, their future looks bleak. They also don't have a head coach as of today.

The first person that Jeanie Buss has seemingly called for help with the situation was former Lakers coach Phil Jackson. Jackson's resume as an executive isn't very impressive and he wasn't very effective with the New York Knicks.

Buss is now facing scrutiny for, once again, calling an old famous name from the franchise and not expanding her search outside her inner circle. Fox Sports analyst Nick Wright spoke on the matter on "First Things First" and said:

"Let me apologize to our viewers for the quality of that footage but the last time Phil Jackson was a relevant NBA person, high definition television didn't exist... Is it too much to ask for Jeanie Buss to open up the aperture just a little bit and not just call who you what would’ve been your top 8 on MySpace 20 years ago to figure out who to steward the team?"
"It's the Lakers. Is it too much to ask for Jeanie Buss to open it up just a little bit & not just call who you what would’ve been your Top 8 on Myspace 20 years ago?!"— @getnickwright on report that Phil Jackson is significantly involved in Lakers head coach search: https://t.co/2TCM3NLSQd

It will be interesting to see who the LA Lakers eventually hire to become their head coach for next season.


Edited by Anantaajith Ra

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