But in exit interviews, the odds of one coming out of the West don’t seem particularly strong.
On Friday, Philadelphia CEO Daryl Morey said he expects the Doc Rivers to return next season with the 76ers, and for now has put a cap on rumors that Rivers may be on his way out. “I’m working my butt to get this team here,” the 60-year-old appeared on the defensive at his own post-game press conference, telling reporters he felt safe in his performance in getting Philadelphia (and injured star Joel Embiid) to the second round of the playoffs. , where he fell to the first seed Miami Heat.
Rivers, who is among the 10 most winning coaches of all time, previously coached in Los Angeles with the Clippers. But his track record (he won the 2008 NBA Championship with the Boston Celtics) seems to be the reason why Morey and the 76ers Brass wanted to keep him.
“We feel good about where he’s taking us,” Morey told media in Philadelphia on Friday. “It will be where we have a very good chance of winning the title.”
Rivers’ endorsement from his current front office aligns with a theme in recent weeks. It has been rumored that Utah Jazz’s Quinn Snyder (a former assistant to the Lakers) has been in the Lakers’ interest for months. But after Jazz general manager Justin Zanic said the franchise was intent on bringing it back next season, Snyder seemed to be looking forward with Utah in Monday’s exit interview, noting that he had seen a movie with team boss Danny Aang and Zanic: “You have aspirations to be Better and win more, which is what we will try to do.”
Last week, Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri dismissed reports that the Lakers (or any team) have an interest in title-winning coach Nick Norse: “They can keep dreaming.”
The three coaches have years left on their contracts.
Meanwhile, the pool of Lakers nominees has grown, including the addition of some former coaches. In addition to the previously reported interest in Milwaukee assistant Darwin Hamm, Toronto assistant Adrian Griffin and ESPN commentator Mark Jackson (who previously coached Golden State), ESPN reported that former Portland coach Terry Stotts was interviewed and the team requested permission to interview the former Brooklyn coach. Kenny Atkinson (now with the Warriors). The Athletic reported that the Lakers also requested permission to meet Bucks assistant Charles Lee.
The Lakers are looking for their sixth coach in 10 years after sacking Frank Vogel (who led the team to the 2020 title) last month. Bleacher reports this week that Vogel has given an interview in Charlotte, the only head coach position vacant after Sacramento hired Golden State assistant (and former Lakers coach) Mike Brown last week.