June 23, 2024

Lakers Rumors: HC Search ‘Remains Far from Settled’ amid Dan Hurley, JJ Redick Buzz | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - APRIL 08: Head coach Dan Hurley of the Connecticut Huskies cuts down the net after beating the Purdue Boilermakers 75-60 to win the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament National Championship game at State Farm Stadium on April 08, 2024 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Athletic’s Jovan Buha says the Los Angeles Lakers’ head coach search “remains far from settled” despite reports that the team is pursuing UConn men’s basketball head coach Dan Hurley.

Buha said former player JJ Redick “remains a viable candidate, according to league sources.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier Thursday that the Lakers “are preparing a massive, long-term contract offer” for Hurley.

The Lakers are seeking a replacement for former head coach Darvin Ham, whom the team fired after two seasons following their first-round elimination in May.

Buha reported that the Lakers “have only made preliminary contact” with Hurley, and will not be holding a formal interview with the Huskies head coach until Friday.

Wojnarowski said Thursday on ESPN’s NBA Countdown that the Lakers plan to “go through the framework about what a deal would look like and what a Dan Hurley-Lakers partnership would look like in LA” during that meeting.

The ESPN reporter described the situation as a “negotiation that has traction.”

Buha cautioned that, until the new contract is finalized, Hurley could still decide to return to Storrs and attempt to lead the Huskies to a three-peat as NCAA champions.

“Until Hurley and the Lakers agree to terms, there is still a real chance the 51-year-old will work out a new contract with Connecticut and remain as college basketball’s top coach,” Buha wrote.

Hurley signed a six-year, $31.2 million extension with UConn after his team’s 2023 championship season. Buying out the remainder of the contract to join the NBA would cost him a buyout of slightly under $1.9 million.

UConn athletic director David Benedict told CT Insider’s Mike Anthony in April that the university was working on another new contract for Hurley, and that finalizing the deal was “just a matter of working through all the details.”

There is also the chance the Lakers will still decide to go with another candidate.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Tuesday that the Lakers were “zeroing in on JJ Redick as the front-runner,” and named New Orleans Pelicans associate head coach James Borrego as another finalist.

If the Lakers’ next head coach is Redick, the team likely would not finalize the decision until after the NBA Finals between Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics, Charania noted. Redick is serving as an analyst for ESPN during the series.