It is no secret that Darvin Ham’s future with the Los Angeles Lakers might be up in the air with how the 2023-24 season has played out.

Despite getting mostly healthy seasons from LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Ham has been unable to pilot the Lakers out of a spot in the Play-In Tournament.

It got so bad for the Lakers at one point that reports surfaced around there being a growing disconnect between Ham and the locker room earlier in the season.

Reports like that don’t just happen and unless the Lakers go on a miracle playoff run, chances are Ham’s tenure with the team will end after just two seasons.

Then the Lakers will be tasked with finding another new head coach and while there is already an early favorite with ties to the franchise, LeBron James has started to lay the groundwork for the team to go in a different direction.

The NBA’s all-time leading scorer recently spoke about former teammate Rajon Rondo on the new “Mind the Game” podcast and how he is shocked that he is not coaching in any capacity.

Is LeBron James laying the foundation for the Lakers to hire Rajon Rondo?

LeBron praising Rondo on a public forum does not guarantee anything but we have to remember how calculated LeBron is with everything he says in the media.

Nothing LeBron says is on accident, and this very well could be a subtle message to the Lakers about who LeBron would prefer next season.

Keep in mind that LeBron has a player option this offseason and is looking for a new contract that would pay him well into nine figures.

LeBron is no stranger to leveraging teams in the past and he will undoubtedly use his contract status as a way to get what he wants as head coach.

Does that mean Rondo is a lock to be hired? Not at all. But LeBron is making it very clear that he thinks Rondo has a great basketball mind and that he would make a good head coach.

Thus, if Rondo has any kind of interest in coaching, the Lakers have to take him seriously as a candidate.

Rondo’s lack of coaching experience may be risky but it does not rule him out.

Ham is a former player who had no head coaching experience prior to being hired, although he had previous experience as an assistant.

The likes of Jason Kidd and Steve Nash got jobs without prior experience and while those hires didn’t work out, the precedent is at least set for a team to make a move like this.

And if the Lakers are ultimately going to bend to LeBron’s demands, then fans could see them making a potentially risky hire like this.