Sources: Lakers will begin contacting head coaching candidates

CHICAGO — The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to begin contacting coaching candidates in the coming days, with an initial focus on current assistants and former coaches with less knowledge, sources told ESPN on Monday.

Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka has collected information on a number of candidates to head the team, including ESPN analyst JJ Redick, sources said. The initial wave of applications for permission to interview will be from those whom the organization has not met in previous searches, or simply know less than other candidates.

In Pelinka’s conversations with officials around the league, the term “grinder” kept popping up in the general manager’s description of an important quality for the next coach, sources said.

The initial interview list is expected to include backup candidates such as Miami’s Chris Quinn and New Orleans’ James Borrego, sources said.

The search is expected to continue in stages with this first wave, then a period of speaking with coaches with whom the Lakers have more history, followed by narrowing the list down to a final round of candidates, sources said.

The Lakers fired Darvin Hamm after two seasons earlier this month. Hamm was 90-74 overall, with a trip to the Western Conference Finals in his first season, followed by a five-game series loss to the Denver Nuggets in the first round of this year’s playoffs.

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