Michigan men’s basketball coach Juwan Howard declines Los Angeles Lakers’ interest

University of Michigan coach Juwan Howard lately declined a Los Angeles Lakers overture for the franchise’s teaching job, electing to stay at his alma mater, the place Howard will coach his two sons subsequent season, sources advised ESPN.

The Lakers have a proper search course of in place, however courting faculty coaches sometimes requires a special stage of discretion. The Lakers have a finalist record of Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham, Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson and former Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts, sources mentioned. The Lakers are anticipated to conduct in-person interviews within the close to future.

The Lakers by no means made a proper provide to Howard, sources mentioned, nevertheless it’s clear that if he had expressed an interest within the job, his candidacy would’ve moved shortly to that stage. While Howard has a taking part in historical past with Lakers normal supervisor Rob Pelinka and star LeBron James, he has constantly maintained he plans to stay in Ann Arbor, the place his sons Jace and Jett will probably be a junior and freshman, respectively, subsequent season.

Howard interviewed for the Los Angeles job as a Miami Heat assistant coach in 2019, earlier than accepting the head-coaching job at Michigan. Howard’s success within the faculty ranks — alongside along with his résumé as a six-year Heat assistant and a two-time NBA champion as a participant — has impressed vital interest in him amongst NBA groups.

Boston Celtics president Brad Stevens was excited about Howard for his teaching opening a yr in the past, however Howard declined that overture too, sources mentioned. The Celtics employed Brooklyn Nets assistant Ime Udoka.

Like Howard, Ham is one other ex-player with robust management, presence, profitable expertise and tactical understanding from previous work with high-level head coaches. Ham can also be a powerful candidate for the Charlotte Hornets‘ head-coach opening, sources mentioned. Ham labored with Hornets GM Mitch Kupchak as a Lakers assistant coach a decade in the past.

Stotts and Atkinson each deliver with them earlier NBA head-coaching expertise.

Stotts most lately coached the Blazers from 2012 to 2021 and reached the playoffs in his ultimate eight consecutive seasons on the job — together with two journeys to the Western Conference semifinals and a berth within the convention finals in 2019. He is thought for his offensive creativity and a capability to construct relationships along with his star gamers.

Atkinson constructed a repute for participant growth as each an assistant and head coach within the NBA. He spent three-plus years as head coach of the Nets, whom he led to a playoff look in his third season in 2018-19.

Howard is 93-61 in three seasons at Michigan and was named nationwide coach of the yr in 2021. His time with the Wolverines has included top-five ballot rankings in all three years, a Big Ten regular-season title and two journeys to the NCAA match.

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