Lakers coaching search challenges after Dan Hurley rejection


The Los Angeles Lakers’ Hail Mary attempt to land UConn coach Dan Hurley failed and they now find themselves searching for a head coach.

“The Lakers’ job is not a great job,” ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on “Get Up” Tuesday. “They’re a play-in team almost every year.”

Brian Windhorst wrote for ESPN that the “Lakers are embarrassed” after Hurley decided to stay in Connecticut, adding that they weren’t enamored with any of the candidates they had spoken to previously.

Rob Pelinka couldn’t lure Dan Hurley to Hollywood. Getty Images

Pelicans assistant James Borrego and ESPN analyst JJ Redick appear to be the best options to fill the vacancy.

Redick should be a serious contender again, although Jovan Buha of The Athletic notes that the Lakers will have to “go back and mend fences” while making him a “favorite.”

Meanwhile, Borrego is the only Lakers candidate to have interviewed twice for the job.

Windhorst has since added on “Get Up” that it appears Borrego is the apple of the Cavaliers’ eye.

JJ Redick and the Lakers may have to mend some fences after Los Angeles cut Dan Hurley. Getty Images

Redick focused on broadcasting the NBA Finals for ESPN before fully throwing himself into coaching jobs.

Redick was previously expected to be in the running for the Cavaliers job, but if Windhorst’s speculation proves correct, the only job left for him will be in Los Angeles.

Athleticism Shams Charania reported that Redick has been the Lakers’ favorite all along and that Hurley “wasn’t the No. 1 candidate” for the Lakers.

James Borrego interviewed twice with the Lakers but he could go to Cleveland. NBAE via Getty Images

“People around the league think it was a Hail Mary offer,” Charania said. “Six years, $70 million and at the end of the day, Dan Hurley chose not to leave, he chose to stay for $20 million less.”

Charania added that the interest may not have been real because Hurley could have been seeking leverage during his contract negotiations with the UConn Huskies.

Dan Hurley singled to try for a triple. P.A.

Aside from Borrego and Redick, it seems possible the Lakers could try to sign former Villanova coach Jay Wright, who built two title teams including Knicks and Nets stars in Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, Mikal Bridges and Donte DiVincenzo.

Kenny Atkinson, David Adelman and Sam Cassell were also reportedly in the running for the job before Hurley’s interest and could be seriously considered as candidates begin to dry up.

The NBA Draft is just over two weeks away on June 26, something LeBron James will be watching closely with free agency starting July 1 and the roster in need of several upgrades.

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