PHOENIX SUNS

Report: Former Lakers coach Darvin Ham passed on joining Suns coaching staff

Jun 3, 2024, 10:19 AM

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham...

Head coach Darvin Ham of the Los Angeles Lakers disputes a call while playing the Denver Nuggets in the fourth quarter during game two of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs at Ball Arena on April 22, 2024 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Recently fired Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham turned down a possible role with the Phoenix Suns under head coach Mike Budenholzer, reports NBA reporter Marc Stein.

Ham “passed after two exacting seasons” with the Lakers, according to Stein.

Ham worked under Budenholzer for the head coach’s entire tenure with the Atlanta Hawks (2013-18) and then from 2018-22 with the Milwaukee Bucks before he landed the head job with the Lakers.

There, he succeeded former Phoenix Suns coach Frank Vogel for two seasons, reaching the conference finals in his first year before falling in the first round this current season.

Stein’s newsletter also details Vogel’s successor in Phoenix: Monty Williams still has his job but now has an uncertainty around him under a new boss, Detroit Pistons president of basketball operations Trajan Langdon.

Detroit went 14-68 in Williams’ first season. The head coach, who was fired by the Suns under new owner Mat Ishbia following the 2022-23 season, had earned a historic $80 million contract to jump right back into a head coach seat. Stein reports it took “multiple runs” and a massive contract to persaude Williams to return to coaching so quickly.

Detroit has already parted ways with GM Troy Weaver, who declined an offer to stay on in a scouting capacity, and one source with knowledge of the Pistons’ thinking says Langdon will immediately begin an evaluation phase that includes an assessment of Williams’ status.

Williams’ price point raised the bar across the league, with Miami’s Erik Spoelstra, Golden State’s Steve Kerr and Dallas’ Jason Kidd taking advantage with extensions in the year since the Pistons made the hire.

Of course, that also impacted the Suns, who hired and then fired Vogel before adding Budenholzer. Here are Stein’s reported dollar figures of those decisions from the past two offseasons under Ishbia:

The Phoenix Suns recently hired Mike Budenholzer to a five-year deal in the $10 million-per-season range after firing Frank Vogel just one year into Vogel’s five-year deal worth in excess of $6 million annually … meaning new Suns owner Mat Ishbia will be paying $16 million per season for two sideline shot-callers for the foreseeable future.

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