Report: J.J. Redick still firmly in the hunt for the Lakers job amid Dan Hurley buzz

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Former NBA sharpshooter and current ESPN analyst J.J. Redick reportedly can’t be counted out in the Los Angeles Lakers’ head coaching search.

Despite ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reporting that the Lakers are targeting University of Connecticut men’s basketball coach Dan Hurley for the position – which sent the NBA world into a frenzy on Thursday – Redick is still a viable candidate, according to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha.

“Now, Hurley, who led Connecticut to back-to-back national championships, has emerged as a legitimate candidate, if not the favorite,” Buha wrote.

“Team and league sources cautioned that the coaching search remains far from settled. Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka and governor Jeanie Buss will interview Hurley in a more formal manner on Friday, league sources confirmed. There is still a chance the 51-year-old will work out a new contract with Connecticut and remain college basketball’s top coach. Hurley signed a six-year, $32.1 million deal with Connecticut after the 2023 championship season. His buyout to join the NBA would be roughly $1.9 million.

“Redick, considered the front-runner for weeks, remains a viable candidate, according to league sources.”

Redick and Hurley both haven’t held head coaching jobs in the NBA, but it appears that the Lakers aren’t worried about that in their coaching search.

While there is no guarantee that Hurley will leave Connecticut, where he’s led one of college basketball’s premier programs to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances, it certainly looks like a possibility.

According to college basketball reporter and broadcaster John Fanta, UConn is “highly concerned” that Hurley could leave for the NBA.

The Lakers are one of the most esteemed franchises in all of sports, so it makes sense that Hurley is at least listening to the franchise’s pitch when it comes to the head coaching gig.

Hurley would have a chance to coach LeBron James (as long as he doesn’t opt out of his contract and leave the Lakers this offseason) and Anthony Davis with an immediate chance to win an NBA title.

The Lakers made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons under former head coach Darvin Ham, but they came up short of last season’s success (making the Western Conference Finals) in the 2023-24 season, losing in the first round to the Denver Nuggets.

Hurley has coached at Wagner College, the University of Rhode Island and UConn at the collegiate level. He made the NCAA Tournament twice at Rhode Island before taking the UConn job ahead of the 2018-19 season.

Redick, who had a lengthy NBA career, has been heavily linked to the Lakers and currently hosts a podcast with James. If Hurley declines the Lakers’ offer, it seems it is still possible Redick could land the role.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.