The Los Angeles Lakers figure to look a lot different next year. They have a new head coach in Darvin Ham, who joins them from Mike Budenholzer’s staff in Milwaukee, and a roster that figures to see some significant changes to the rotation pieces at the least, given most everyone beyond their top stars is a free agent this summer.
How they fill out the roster of minimum deals will play a big role in determining how successful they will be, but we won’t see how they attack roster building until July 1. For now, Ham is in the process of filling out his coaching staff and he’s apparently bringing an old friend back to the Association in Rasheed Wallace, who Ham played with in Detroit from 2003-2005, winning an NBA championship in the process. Wallace hasn’t been an assistant in the league since his one season with the Pistons in 2013-14, but has spent time coaching high school ball and most recently was an assistant for Penny Hardaway at Memphis.
Hardaway was asked about Wallace’s status for next season on Monday, and divulged that he is likely on his way to L.A. to join Ham’s staff.
I asked Penny Hardaway this morning about Rasheed Wallace’s status. He said Rasheed is likely headed to LA to be part of Darvin Ham’s staff.
— Jason Munz (@munzly) June 6, 2022Advertisement
Shortly after Hardaway offered that response, Shams Charania of The Athletic confirmed a deal was done and Wallace would indeed be joining the Lakers staff.
Sources: Four-time NBA All-Star Rasheed Wallace has agreed on a deal to be an assistant coach for the Lakers under new head coach Darvin Ham. Both were teammates in Detroit and part of the 2004 title team. Memphis‘ Penny Hardaway hinted today Wallace may join Ham in LA.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 6, 2022AdvertisementAdvertisement
Ham has been fond of Wallace’s coaching potential for a long time, so it’s not a surprise that he’d bring Rasheed back to the assistant coaching ranks of the NBA. Where Wallace’s presence figures to be an immediate help is with Anthony Davis and continuing to get the most out of him on both ends of the floor, with Wallace being able to relate to Davis about as well as any coach could given his skillset as a player.
It’s also part of why it’s important for people like Ham to get head coaching jobs, because they open up opportunities for an entirely different group of people to get on an NBA bench and show their value as coaches that might otherwise not get that chance.