The Los Angeles Lakers are not interested in merely hiring a new head coach to replace Darvin Ham. They are overhauling the entire staff, including respected assistant Phil Handy, according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin. Handy had worked under both Ham and Frank Vogel, winning a championship with LA in 2020.

Sentimentality is being thrown out the window. The Lakers are eagerly seeking changes after being eliminated by the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Playoffs for the second-straight year. When LeBron James and Anthony Davis are on a team, the mindset is Finals or bust. That goal is not being met, despite both stars playing more than 70 games this season.

It was only a matter of time before the front office decided to take strong action. Ham, who was unceremoniously dismissed from his post by general manager Rob Pelinka via phone call, had seemingly been in a precarious position for a while. But it is a bit surprising to see the Lakers swap out the entire bench.

Those type of demolition projects do not always go over well with players, especially for those who may have wanted the next head coach to be an in-house candidate like Phil Handy. Los Angeles wants a clean slate. The question is, though, how clean will that slate be heading into the 2024-25 season.

Will LeBron James be on Lakers to experience these coaching changes?

Lakers star LeBron James talks with Darvin Ham.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Management will want the new HC to be someone who can command the respect of the locker room, especially LeBron James. The four-time Finals and regular season MVP is likely to become a free agent this summer by declining his player option, but the Lakers are still considered to be the front-runners to secure his services.

It might not factor into James' offseason decision, but Pelinka will probably want to hire a coach who receives the all-time scoring champion's seal of approval. Keeping James happy is the organization's top priority right now, given the substantial growth it has enjoyed, and the championship banner it won, during his six-year tenure with the franchise.

Players were reportedly not pleased with how Darvin Ham was handling things, so a new voice could be met with welcome approval. How much longer can LA ride this carousel, however? This will be its fourth different head coach since 2016. With or without James, stability is needed on this team.

Tyronn Lue and JJ Redick are possible HC candidates, which makes a ton of sense considering the NBA legend's relationship with both of them. Whoever lands the job will get to build their staff from scratch, which might be an effective way to achieve stability. Trust and chemistry would ideally be high from the onset.

Even so, there will be an adjustment period for the current crop of Lakers' talent. Assistants tend to form strong bonds with athletes, and Handy has been in LA for nearly the entirety of LeBron James' Purple and Gold run. But that is the cruel nature of this results-based business.

A vitally important offseason for the Lakers is officially underway following this mass coaching exodus.