Cassell reportedly among targets for Lakers head coach vacancy


Sam Cassell is reportedly one of three early targets for the Lakers’ head coach vacancy.

Sam Cassell (left) joined the Celtics’ coaching staff this season, working with Jayson Tatum. Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

The Celtics are already set to lose one assistant coach when their playoff run ends. It’s possible they could lose a second as well.

Celtics assistant coach Sam Cassell is one of the Lakers’ three “early top targets” for their head coach vacancy, The Athletic reported Tuesday.

Cassell was one of the first assistant coaches Joe Mazzulla hired last summer as he entered his first offseason as the Celtics head coach. He lost a few of his assistants to the Rockets, where they reunited with former Celtics coach Ime Udoka.

Cassell, who spent the final two seasons of his 16-year playing career in Boston, rejoined the organization after working on Doc Rivers’ staff with the 76ers for three years. The 54-year-old emerged as a top head coaching candidate over that time, being credited for helping to develop 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey into a star.

However, Cassell has yet to land a head coaching gig. He wound up in Boston after Philadelphia fired Rivers and passed on promoting him last May. He told’s Khari Thompson in December that he strives to become a head coach someday.

“That’s my goal, and it’s going to come. It’s going to come one day,” Cassell said. “I know it’s going to come. It ain’t my turn yet. I’ve been doing this for 15 years and people say ‘you’re up next, you’re up next.’ Well, when God says I’m up, I’ll be up.”

During his brief time with the Celtics, Cassell has notably worked with Jayson Tatum, individually working with Boston’s star during practices.

The Celtics will lose lead assistant Charles Lee once their season ends after he agreed to a deal to become the Hornets’ next head coach last week. Mazzulla said that he would likely promote from within to replace Lee, making Cassell a possible candidate for the role.

The Lakers begin interviews for their head coach vacancy later this week, The Athletic reported. Former NBA player and ESPN broadcast JJ Redick and Pelicans associate coach James Borrego are reportedly the Lakers’ other two top targets to replace Darvin Ham, who was fired earlier in May.

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