The Los Angeles Lakers continued their head-coaching search by speaking to one of three reported finalists.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers interviewed former Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts on Tuesday.
The Lakers have narrowed down their top candidates to Stotts, Kenny Atkinson, and Darvin Ham, per USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt. Wojnarowski said they will meet with those two assistant coaches in the "near future."
NBA.com's Mark Medina added that Stotts is "intrigued" by coaching Russell Westbrook and thinks he can guide the point guard to a bounce-back campaign after an underwhelming 2021-22 season.
Stotts took Portland to the playoffs in each of his final eight seasons as head coach, including a Western Conference Finals appearance in 2019. However, the Blazers got booted in the first round in four of his last five seasons before the two sides agreed to part ways last year.
Stotts is the most experienced candidate of the trio. While Atkinson helped oversee the Brooklyn Nets' rebuild from 2016 to 2020 before serving as an assistant for the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors, Ham is seeking his first head-coaching job.
However, Wojnarowski called the former Lakers assistant coach "a candidate to keep watching" on Monday's episode of ESPN's NBA Today. He said Ham "checks a lot of boxes" in the same vein as Michigan coach Juwan Howard, who declined the Lakers' interest.
Despite these three finalists, Marc Stein said the Lakers are still maintaining hope that Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers will become available.