Celtics Assistant Coach Named a 'Top Target' for Lakers Job

Longtime NBA assistant was named one of the Lakers' top targets for head coach
Celtics assistant coach Sam Cassell
Celtics assistant coach Sam Cassell / Steven Ryan/GettyImages

After one of Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla's assistant coaches filled a head coach vacancy last week, another could follow suit in 2024-25.

According to The Athletic, longtime assistant coach Sam Cassell joins JJ Redick and James Borrego as one of three "early top targets" as the Los Angeles Lakers begin their quest to find a new head coach. After losing 4-1 to the Denver Nuggets in the Lakers' opening-round series, head coach Darvin Ham was relieved of his duties.

The Lakers' upcoming offseason is critical, considering their superstar LeBron James has one year left on his current deal, a player-option worth $51.4 million that he could opt out of this summer. And considering Los Angeles' underwhelming campaign, many believe vast changes are on the horizon, as the prolific franchise attempts to rebuild its roster around James, and All-Star Anthony Davis, who inked a three-year, $177.1 million extension last year.

After working under Doc Rivers since 2014, first with the Los Angeles Clippers (2014-2020) and then with the Philadelphia 76ers (2020-24), Cassell, along with former Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Charles Lee, joined Mazzulla's coaching staff last summer and helped guide the Celtics to the league's best record (64-18). Cassell, a three-time champion during his playing days, was a member of the 2008 champion Celtics and has been an assistant coach since 2009.

Last week, the Charlotte Hornets named Lee as their new head coach. His extensive coaching background includes working under former Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer for five seasons, when he helped guide Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, and the Bucks to a championship in 2021.

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