Lakers Rumors: Michigan's Juwan Howard Declined 'Overture on' LA's Vacant HC Role

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 22, 2022

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS - MARCH 24: Head coach Juwan Howard of the Michigan Wolverines looks on during the second half against the Villanova Wildcats of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Sweet 16 Round at AT&T Center on March 24, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Michigan men's basketball coach Juwan Howard resisted an "overture" from the Los Angeles Lakers in their coaching vacancy, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski noted Howard's two sons, Jace and Jett, are still members of the Wolverines roster.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported the Lakers have narrowed their list down to three finalists: Kenny Atkinson, Darvin Ham and Terry Stotts.

Wojnarowski's report aligned with what NBA insider Marc Stein reported on May 2: "Michigan's Juwan Howard is known to hold [LeBron] James' respect after their time together in Miami but is said to be firm in his desire to stay with the Wolverines to coach sons Jace and Jett."

Beyond his family ties in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Howard might have had some reservations about the situation in Los Angeles. The Lakers missed the playoffs this year after losing 49 games, and their championship window might be closed with their current roster.

LeBron James is beginning to show his age, missing 26 games. Anthony Davis logged only 40 appearances, continuing what has been a prevailing theme across his career. And Russell Westbrook is clearly miscast as a third star alongside James and Davis.

There are only so many NBA coaching opportunities to go around, and the challenge of returning a franchise such as the Lakers to prominence is obviously enticing.

But Howard is in a position where he should have the luxury of waiting for the right chance in the Association.

The 49-year-old was a two-time champion during his 19-year NBA career. Upon retiring, he spent five seasons on the Miami Heat's staff. He has also been reasonably successful in his three years at Michigan, posting a 61-32 record and guiding the Wolverines to the Elite Eight in 2021.

Once his sons graduate and he's more open to leaving Ann Arbor, Howard should remain in the mix for whatever NBA vacancies are open at the time.