The Los Angeles Lakers were a dominant team on the court in the 2019-20 NBA season, but the coaching staff was a major strength that wasn't often discussed. That could be lost next season with key coaches potentially on their way out.
According to Frank Isola of ESPN, Phil Handy could join the Brooklyn Nets staff led by Steve Nash. Handy has previously been considered a candidate to be head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, per Joe Mussatto of the Oklahoman.
This comes after Jason Kidd has been considered as an option to be head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans, per Clevis Murray of The Athletic. Brandon Robinson of Heavy also reported Kidd was linked to the Pelicans, while Fletcher Mackel of WDSU reported back in September he could land in New Orleans.
While it would represent quality opportunities for these coaches, it could represent significant loss for the Lakers, which had a lot of experience on the bench behind Frank Vogel, including former head coaches in Kidd and Lionel Hollins.
The 49-year-old has developed an impressive reputation as he seeks his next career move:
Kendrick Perkins @KendrickPerkins
It’s crazy how I’m not hearing Phil Handy name when it comes to these Coaching Jobs out here!!! Phil has won 3 Championships in the last 5 years and he’s Back to Back Champion...with 9 years of coaching experience and the BEST Player Developement Coach in the game today! 🤷🏾♂️
It seems unlikely the Lakers will be able to hold him down much longer.
The 47-year-old has been up and down as a head coach in the NBA, accumulating a 183-190 record with the Nets and Milwaukee Bucks. He brought his teams to the playoffs in three of his first four seasons but was fired midway through the 2017-18 campaign with Milwaukee.
His experience as a head coach and assistant with the Lakers is still valuable, as is his Hall of Fame playing career, making him an intriguing candidate for other teams.
It could force Los Angeles to make some adjustments in the coaching staff for 2020-21, potentially putting a small dent in the team's chances to defend a title. Of course, this is one of the costs of winning a championship.
One option could be elevating Miles Simon to a bigger role after three years on the staff. The former University of Arizona star has coached the team's Summer League squad in the past and could get a more hands-on role in 2020-21.