Lakers receive pair of gloomy updates regarding coaching search

Jesse Cinquini
5 Min Read
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

A pair of worrying reports have surfaced regarding the Los Angeles Lakers’ pursuit of a new head coach and one of the candidates to become the 29th head coach in franchise history in J.J. Redick.

“Some folks around the league feel J.J. Redick won’t want to be involved with this circus, and that he won’t want to be a second choice, but he wants to coach,” Vincent Goodwill wrote. “The Lakers seem very intrigued by him for whatever reason and the focus will smoothly shift to him. Because, who else? The coaching cycle is nearly over, and Redick does a podcast with…LeBron James.”

The Athletic’s Jovan Buha also implied that the Lakers don’t have a clear backup plan now that University of Connecticut head coach Dan Hurley rejected Los Angeles’ lucrative contract offer in order to stay with the Huskies.

“In talking to different people today, there has not been a clear Plan B for the Lakers from this situation,” Buha said. “I thought that this was likely going to just be a five-day interlude and the Lakers would go back to the J.J. Redick well and try to circle back and mend fences and just go back and make him the front runner or the favorite or whatever term you want to use again and that would be the likely outcome. But in having conversations with people in and outside of the organization today it has been a mixed bag in terms of what is the Plan B. I’ve heard things ranging from J.J. is still the front runner, J.J. is still the favorite to J.J. is in the mix but there might be a little bit of a reset there in terms of the Lakers really reevaluating all the candidates again and sort of refreshing the candidate pool in terms of looking at everybody through a new lens.”

Hurley — who has coached the Huskies for six seasons and led the team to back-to-back national titles in 2023 and 2024 — was supposedly offered a contract worth $70 million over six years to forgo a pursuit of a third straight NCAA title and join the Lakers.

Before it was known the Lakers had interest in Hurley, Anthony Irwin of Lakers Daily reported that the team had zeroed in on Redick to replace Darvin Ham.

“Sources close to the situation speaking on the condition of anonymity say the Los Angeles Lakers are operating with the understanding that Tyronn Lue will not be available this offseason and have zeroed in on J.J. Redick as their next head coach,” Irwin wrote.

Redick’s coaching experience at the NBA level or lack thereof suggests that perhaps it would be in the Lakers’ best interest to consider candidates outside of the 39-year-old. He carved out an impressive playing career that spanned 15 seasons with six teams — the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, New Orleans Pelicans, Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks — but has never been part of an NBA coaching staff to this point.

The Lakers’ coaching search might not be the No. 1 thing on Redick’s mind right now, too. The former Duke University star is currently covering the 2024 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Mavericks as an analyst for ESPN. The Celtics own a 2-0 lead at this point after taking Games 1 and 2 at TD Garden, but the next two games of the best-of-seven series will take place in Dallas, beginning with Game 3 on Wednesday night.

It should be compelling to witness how the Lakers’ search for a new head coach unfolds in the coming days in light of the news that Hurley will remain at UConn.

Share This Article
Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.