Analyzing which former member of the Bucks the Lakers should hire as coach

Milwaukee Bucks v Miami Heat - Game Three
Milwaukee Bucks v Miami Heat - Game Three / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

After an early exit from the NBA Playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers officially fired Darvin Ham, a former assistant coach of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Now, the Lakers have opened up a search to fill the vacancy, and there are a handful of former Bucks littered throughout their list of initial candidates. Per The Athletic's Jovan Buha and Shams Charania (subscription required), Mike Budenholzer, JJ Redick and Charles Lee are under consideration for the gig at the time of this writing.

Let's assess the candidates and break down which former Buck would make the most sense.

Analyzing which former member of the Bucks the Los Angeles Lakers should hire as coach

Mike Budenholzer

Barring an unforeseen firing, there will not be a head coach more in demand this off-season than Mike Budenholzer. He's a two-time Coach of the Year and NBA champion who has experience on the biggest stage and when it comes to dealing with star players. Those attributes alone should mean he checks off plenty of boxes for the Los Angeles Lakers.

JJ Redick

This was certainly an interesting one. Redick has never coached at the highest level before, but the one-time Milwaukee Bucks (very briefly in 2013) is looking to make the jump from retired player and media mogul to coaching full time. He already has a relationship with superstar LeBron James, as the two recently started a podcast together.

Charles Lee

Charles Lee served as an assistant under Mike Budenholzer and has been featured in head coaching rumors for many years now. He's currently with the Boston Celtics, soaking up more experience with one of the NBA's best teams. He's more than deserving of an opportunity to lead a team after years of trying to get his foot in the door, and perhaps this could be his big break.

The verdict

Mike Budenholzer seems like the logical choice here. One issue that Lakers seemingly ran into with Ham was that he was a first-time head coach. With a roster built to win immediately and pressure on due to LeBron's age, a first-timer who needs time to get a feel for the game might not be ideal. Hey, that sure sounds like what happened to the Milwaukee Bucks this past season.

Redick and Lee could very well be fine coaches, but with LeBron making it clear that he doesn't have too much time left after considering retirement last year, the Lakers should go after a proven winner. Budenholzer would give the Los Angeles Lakers a winner and someone who could perhaps put them in the best position to win next season.

It might seem a bit redundant to hire Budenholzer after just firing Ham, who stems from the coaching tree of Budenholzer. That's a valid argument, but the big difference is that Ham was a first-time coach, and those rarely work out unless you are, ironically, LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016. After letting Ham go, it would be shocking to see them hire another first-time head coach.

No matter what, someone affiliated with the Milwaukee Bucks in recent memory could be leading the charge for the Los Angeles Lakers, though other candidates are bound to get involved in time.

Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis.