Dan Hurley staying put as UConn Huskies coach, identifying 3 Los Angeles Lakers coaching targets

Dan Hurley, Los Angeles Lakers news, Lakers coaching targets
Credit: Joseph Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Los Angeles Lakers made a final push over the weekend to convince Dan Hurley to make a jump to the NBA, offering him a lucrative contract that would’ve made him one of the highest-paid coaches in basketball. Instead, Hurley will remain the UConn Huskies coach.

Reports surfaced on Monday that Hurley had made his decision after contemplating over whether to stick with the UConn Huskies or leave college basketball behind to become the new head coach in Los Angeles. After meeting with his players and family, the best coach in college basketball made his decision official Monday afternoon.

Related: 4 Los Angeles Lakers trade targets

As first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Hurley has turned down the Lakers’ offer and will remain UConn’s coach for the 2024-’25 season. He is likely to receive a new contract from the Huskies’ which should make him the highest-paid coach in college basketball.

“After a dogged pursuit of Hurley over past weeks, Lakers will regroup and resume bringing in candidates for interviews with hope of hiring a coach by Draft, sources said. James Borrego is expected to remain part of group and Lakers could do their first formal interview with JJ Redick.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on the Los Angeles Lakers coaching search

Also Read: Best NBA players of all time

Following Hurley’s decision, the Lakers coaching search must move forward with its second tier of candidates. Los Angeles might’ve been bracing for this decision as early as Sunday, with NBA rumors surfacing of other potential Lakers coaching candidates in the event Hurley declined their offer.

Identifying potential Los Angeles Lakers coaching candidates

With Hurley officially off the board, Los Angeles will likely turn its attention away from the collegiate ranks. Instead, the organization is expected to move forward with some of the names that first were floated in the Lakers coaching search.

Also Read: Best second-round picks in NBA history

JJ Redick, NBA analyst

There have been opportunities for JJ Redick in the past to become an assistant coach. Teams previously reached out to Redick, but the freedom of being an NBA analyst and working his own schedule was more appealing than serving on the bench as the second or third assistant on staff. One thing that’s never been doubted, however, is Redick’s basketball IQ, media savvy and how well he gels with other players.

Related: NBA insider reveals potential Los Angeles Lakers coaching staff if JJ Redick hired

One appealing factor for Los Angeles would be Redick’s relationship with LeBron James. The two were friends before hosting a podcast together, but the new in-depth show further highlights Redick’s mind for the game and how many concepts and beliefs he shares with James. The Lakers would need to put a very experienced staff around Redick, but he’s very much in consideration as one of the Lakers coaching candidates in 2024. As Wojnarowski mentioned, Redick may receive a formal interview after the NBA Finals.

Jay Wright, former Villanova coach

Before Hurley, Jay Wright was considered arguably the best coach in college basketball. From 2009-2022, he went to the Final Four with the Wildcats four times, winning a pair of national championships (2016 and 2018). Only 62 years old, Wright retired from coaching following the 2022 season in large part due to the changing dynamics of college basketball. Wright doesn’t have any NBA coaching experience, but he’s widely regarded by those close to the game. However, Wright has previously indicated he doesn’t want to leave his role on TV.

Related: ‘Stealth’ Los Angeles Lakers coaching target emerges

James Borrego, New Orleans Pelicans assistant coach

Wojnarowski noted that James Borrego remains one of the Lakers coaching candidates under consideration now that Hurley is out of the mix. The 46-year-old assistant coach joined the New Orleans Pelicans’ staff in 2023, but previously served as the Charlotte Hornets coach with a 143-183 record. NBA insider Marc Stein previously reported that there’s a belief within the NBA that Anthony Davis might prefer Borrego over JJ Redick as the next Lakers’ coach. The Lakers coaching search may ultimately come down to Redick and Borrego.

Also Read: 2024 NBA Draft order

Mentioned in this article:

More About: