Lakers Rumors: David Fizdale, John Lucas III, Mike Penberthy Won't Be Part of Staff

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 7, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 25:  Assistant head coach David Fizdale of the Los Angeles Lakers stands on the court during the game against the Brooklyn Nets at Crypto.com Arena on December 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.   (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Newly hired Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham didn't take long to begin addressing his coaching staff.

ESPN's Dave McMenamin and Adrian Wojnarowski reported assistant coaches David Fizdale, Mike Penberthy and John Lucas III won't return following Ham's arrival.

Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported Phil Handy will, however, be back for a fourth year with the Lakers. Quinton Crawford will also return next season, per McMenamin and Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski added that Ham has reached out to "several possible candidates around the league" and filling out his bench could be a weekslong process.

Fizdale joined Los Angeles ahead of the 2021-22 season after having most recently coached the New York Knicks across two seasons.

The 47-year-old may not have to wait long for his next gig. NBA insider Marc Stein reported Monday that Dwyane Wade, who has a minority ownership stake in the Utah Jazz, "could push the team to consider" Fizdale as a replacement for Quin Snyder.

Penberthy, who was with the Lakers as a player for two years, returned in 2019 as an assistant following the hiring of Frank Vogel. Like Fizdale, Lucas only had one year under his belt in L.A.

Although Wojnarowski indicated Ham won't rush into making new hires, he has reportedly already made one move. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Monday that four-time All-Star Rasheed Wallace will agree to a deal with the Lakers.

Tuesday's news follows previous reporting from Stein that Ham was granted "autonomy to pick his coaching staff." In addition, the Lakers pledged that "senior adviser Kurt Rambis will not be a regular presence in coaching meetings like he was with Vogel."

Stein described the developments as "significant concessions" given Ham's lack of experience as a head coach.

That not only represented a show of faith in Ham from the organization but also likely reflected a level of leverage he has over L.A. based on the larger questions looming for the team.