The NBA has been kind of quiet lately, including the Lakers. After Kevin Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets at the start of free agency, many believed that was the beginning of yet another crazy NBA off-season. It’s been fairly quiet since then. With the exception of the Rudy Gobert trade, there has not been much player movement. For the Lakers, Russell Westbrook remains on the team, which means we are that much closer to him being on the roster this season. One good news for Laker fans is long-time favorite assistant coach Phil Handy will be with the purple and gold for the foreseeable future.
According to Marc J. Spears of ESPN, the Lakers have signed Handy to a multi-year extension.
The Lakers signed assistant coach Phil Handy to contract extension last week, a source told @espn @andscape. Previously, Handy had one year left on his contract. pic.twitter.com/zDwjKSofZ3
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) July 26, 2022
With one year left in his contract, the Lakers made sure one of the top assistants in the league will be on their bench for several years. It was already quite the sigh of relief when head coach Darvin Ham chose to bring Handy back from Frank Vogel’s staff. Now, knowing Handy will be part of the future with the likes of Talen Horton-Tucker, Austin Reaves and Max Christie still developing their game is very exciting and promising. There is arguably no one better than Handy when it comes to player development.
Another confirmed name that will be sitting next to coach Ham will be Chris Jent. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Jent will be Ham’s top assistant coach on the Lakers bench.
The Lakers are hiring Atlanta Hawks assistant Chris Jent to become the top assistant coach, sources tell ESPN. New coach Darvin Ham recruited Jent over the past week to lead his staff. Jent has a strong history with LeBron James from early Cleveland years.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 18, 2022
Jent comes to the team from the Atlanta Hawks and had familiarity with LeBron James when he was an assistant with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2006 to 2011. Jent actually won a title with the Houston Rockets in 1994, appearing in three games for them that season. While he did not have a long NBA career as a player, Jent has left his mark as an assistant coach, having spent 15 years across the league.
With Handy being the only coach that is coming back from the previous regime, Ham has had to look elsewhere to round out his staff. While the Lakers have not made a deal with the Brooklyn Nets, Ham went ahead and took one of their pieces anyway. Per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Lakers have hired Jordan Ott as an assistant coach.
The Lakers are hiring Nets assistant coach Jordan Ott for Darvin Ham’s new staff, sources tell ESPN. Ott will move into a more prominent role on the front of LA’s bench.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 22, 2022
Ott has been promised a more prominent role on the bench and comes to Los Angeles with a strong offensive background. Ott also has familiarity with Coach Ham as he worked with him in Atlanta. Ott essentially finalizes the three front line coaches on the Lakers bench. While Ham can add more people to his staff, Handy, Jent and Ott will be the ones you will see sitting next to Handy every game.
In an attempt to add more youth to his coaching staff, Ham has brought some of his previous colleagues from the Milwaukee Bucks. According to Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Schuyler Rimmer will be joining the Lakers staff as an assistant coach.
Schuyler Rimmer announced he's joining Darvin Ham's #Lakers coaching staff in Los Angeles.
For a look at some* of Rimmer's work w/ the #Bucks, this from @Matt_Velazquez:
Who gets between Giannis & the rim? For Rimmer, that's his job https://t.co/h9DC0mTiRC
— Jim Owczarski (@JimOwczarski) June 21, 2022
At only 27-years-old, Rimmer will be the youngest member of the coaching staff. A former member of the Stanford Cardinal and Florida Gators, the big man stands at 6-foot-10. Rimmer has been part of Mike Budenholzer’s staff since he has been with Atlanta. Now, he comes to the Lakers as an assistant and his work with the bigs will be instrumental.
In other assistant coach news, after initial reports that former Laker heel Rasheed Wallace was joining the staff, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that he won’t become an assistant with the Lakers after all.
Rasheed Wallace will no longer be joining Darvin Ham's coaching staff, per @ShamsCharania pic.twitter.com/vyS5IoYII5
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 25, 2022
For some, the addition of Wallace was a positive one since he would directly work with fellow big man Anthony Davis. Wallace was one of the best power forwards to ever play and was quite the force in his era. He was a stretch big before that was even a thing. His aggressive mentality would have been one thing he could have passed on to AD, but maybe he can still work with him at some capacity.
It will be interesting to see where Coach Ham goes next with his staff, but nonetheless there is excitement with him at the helm. Even amongst all of this turmoil.