The Lakers Are Reportedly Set To Target UConn Head Coach Dan Hurley With A ‘Massive Offer’

For several days, all indications have pointed to ESPN analyst JJ Redick as the overwhelming favorite to become the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Redick, who is set to call the NBA Finals beginning on Thursday, recently side-stepped the topic by indicating saying it “will be addressed once the season’s over,” and that only added fuel to the fire. With that said, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski delivered a curve ball in the early hours of Thursday morning, reporting that the Lakers are set to present a “massive, long-term contract offer” to UConn head coach Dan Hurley.

In his piece for ESPN, Wojnarowski notes that “the Lakers have had preliminary contact with Hurley and the sides are planning to escalate discussions in the coming days.” Hurley was also reportedly the apple of Kentucky’s eye during their 2024 coaching search, though Hurley quickly made it clear that was not in his plans.

Hurley is the architect of the two-time reigning national champions of men’s college basketball, and he is renowned for his tactical abilities at the college level. Though the college-to-pro jump has been less in vogue in recent years, Hurley is highly respected and, as ESPN writes, “LeBron James has been impressed with Hurley’s sophisticated offensive actions.”

It remains to be seen as to whether Hurley will sign on the dotted line. For one, the presence of a high-profile, high-dollar offer is appetizing, but nowhere in the reporting is it stated that he is likely to join the Lakers and it would be a substantial risk for him to leave the incredible situation he constructed at UConn for (far) less job security at the NBA level. However, it would also be fair to suggest that the chance to coach the Lakers, and presumably LeBron James, would present a different calculus than a more run-of-the-mill NBA opportunity.

The Lakers have certainly been interviewing other candidates, ranging from Redick to Sam Cassell and James Borrego, and one of the reasons for the building assumption of Redick as the leader is the reality of his ESPN’s commitment and the length of this coaching search. However, Hurley as a leading candidate is the kind of high-profile factor that complicates matters in considerable fashion, and the next steps on all sides will be incredibly interesting.