Report: Some around NBA are ‘scratching their heads’ at idea of Lakers hiring J.J. Redick

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read

There are people around the NBA “scratching their heads” at the thought of the Los Angeles Lakers hiring former NBA guard J.J. Redick as their next head coach, according to Lakers Daily’s Anthony Irwin.

“After Darvin Ham lasted only two seasons as a rookie head coach, potentially hiring Redick with no coaching experience has people around the league scratching their heads,” Irwin wrote. “Though one Eastern Conference executive has a theory on why they might head in this direction:

“‘If they hire J.J. and it doesn’t work out,’ the source said, ‘Rob [Pelinka] can basically tell Jeanie [Buss] the hire was for LeBron [James] and get another chance at hiring whoever comes next. This is technically the safest hire he could make, outside of Ty (Tyronn Lue) somehow being available.'”

Irwin reported that there is a sizeable gap between Redick and other coaching candidates such as James Borrego, Kenny Atkinson, David Adelman, Micah Nori and Chris Quinn.

Redick, who has a podcast with James, does not have any coaching experience at the NBA level, although he did have a lengthy career as a player.

The Lakers aren’t the only team that has pursued Redick as their head coach. The current ESPN broadcaster was also in the mix with the Charlotte Hornets recently.

“The Lakers aren’t alone in feeling that way,” Irwin wrote after explaining that Redick has qualities that help overshadow his lack of experience. “Redick was a finalist to be the Charlotte Hornets’ head coach before Charles Lee was eventually hired. Upon Lee’s hiring, many around the league wondered if Redick potentially passed on that opportunity with the understanding another was coming.”

While there may be people around the NBA who don’t understand the Lakers potentially hiring Redick, it would make sense to keep James happy this offseason.

The NBA’s all-time leading scorer has a player option for the 2024-25 season that he could opt out of this offseason to become an unrestricted free agent. Since the franchise has been operating as if he will return to the team, it would make sense to bring in a coach that he approves of.

Even though he is aging, James is still one of the league’s best players. During the 2023-24 season, he averaged 25.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game while shooting 54.0 percent from the field and 41.0 percent from beyond the arc.

The four-time champion then followed that up by averaging 27.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game across five games in the playoffs.

The Lakers have had three different coaches since James joined the franchise ahead of the 2018-19 season. Luke Walton coached the team that season before the Lakers moved on for Frank Vogel, who led the Lakers to an NBA title in the 2019-20 season.

Ham coached the Lakers the last two seasons, taking them to the playoffs in both campaigns, but the Lakers had to do it by way of the play-in tournament in both seasons.

If the Lakers do end up hiring Redick, they’ll hope that he can get the most out of their roster around Anthony Davis and James and win another title.

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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.