The Los Angeles Lakers wasted no time relieving Darvin Ham of his head coaching duties in the aftermath of their first-round exit in the 2024 playoffs against the Denver Nuggets. Now, the Lakers will be conducting a thorough search for the next voice that would lead the team, and a few names have already come up as potential candidates to fill the void Ham's firing left.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, on FanDuel TV's Run It Back, the Lakers are looking into five options to potentially fill the position of head coach. The names are as follows: former Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer, JJ Redick, Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, and Boston Celtics assistant Charles Lee, while Tyronn Lue's name was still mentioned as a potential option even though the Los Angeles Clippers are reportedly looking into signing him to an extension.

“The top candidates, Mike Budenholzer, former championship head coach of the Bucks—Kenny Atkinson, JJ Redick, Charles Lee, and Ty Lue is really the big name if he's available,” Charania said. “Whoever the Lakers hire for this job, the task will be competing for a championship. … This is one of the most high power jobs in the league. A lot of expectations will be on whoever that next head coach is.”

If there's anything the Lakers are looking for in a replacement for Darvin Ham, it's the ability to display the skills Ham rarely showed, much to the detriment of the team over the past two seasons.

“A lot of the things that the Lakers felt Darvin Ham just did not do at the highest of levels — rotations, adjustments, game plans — I think they're gonna look for someone that can really command that locker room,” Charania added.

With that said, who among the options Charania listed above is the best fit for LeBron James and the Lakers?

A championship-winning coach to lead the Lakers to the promised land?

Tyronn Lue is the easy fit based on all the factors Charania listed above; Lue may not have gotten a fair chance to compete for a championship with the Clippers given their injury problems, but he proved in 2021 that he could make adjustments and rotation decisions with the best of them when he helped the team overcome two separate 0-2 deficits in the playoffs. Moreover, his playcalling in ATO situations is near-unparalleled. He also commands respect from LeBron James — a must if you're going to be the coach of the Lakers.

But Lue appears to be content with the Clippers, and this sentiment appears to be mutual. Thus, the Lakers are better off turning their attention towards other candidates. Kenny Atkinson, who was a member of Lue's staff with the Clippers in 2021, and has since been a member of Steve Kerr's coaching staff with the Warriors, could be an option.

Atkinson manages to get the best out of the rosters of teams he coaches; during his stint as the Brooklyn Nets' head coach, he seemed to have his team play well above expectations. However, Atkinson was not able to command the locker room as the main voice of the Nets when Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving came in nearly five years ago.

So as good of a tactician as Atkinson may be, he may not be the most enticing target for a team that's looking to get a buy-in from all of their players, LeBron James included.

Meanwhile, Mike Budenholzer, despite being a championship-winning coach, may be too similar to Darvin Ham for the Lakers' liking. Budenholzer can be stubborn with his rotations, and he's not exactly widely-acclaimed for his ability to make playoff adjustments.

Ham, of course, spent the majority of his years as an assistant coach under Budenholzer. So it's likely that Ham applied much of what he learned from Budenholzer during his stint with the Lakers, and that did not exactly go according to plan.

Thus, the Lakers could, perhaps, put their faith in a fresh voice on the sidelines.

Will the Purple and Gold take a chance at an unproven coach?

JJ Redick and Charles Lee have no experience being the head coach of an NBA team. But sometimes, experience doesn't equate to excellence. Teams have to take a chance here and there. A recent prime example of this was when the Warriors put their faith in Steve Kerr even though he had no prior head coaching experience, or even assistant coaching experience for that matter. That worked out quite well.

For the Lakers, Redick, at the very least, would garner respect from his podcast partner LeBron James. And with James' respect comes everyone else's. Redick and James could then engage in more of a collaborative effort on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, Lee, who is a well-regarded assistant with the Celtics, could be a good option as well. The Celtics players have showered him with effusive praise in the past. Alas, it's unclear how well he could command a locker room and if he could receive full buy-ins from James and Anthony Davis.