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Lakers formally interview JJ Redick for head coaching job

Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Basketball

The Los Angeles Lakers hosted former player and current broadcaster JJ Redick on Saturday in their most formal interview with him to date, with multiple members of the organization speaking to the former Duke star about the team’s head-coaching vacancy.

The step is an important one for Redick, who has been a central figure in the team’s coaching search as an external favorite, a presumed frontrunner after initial contact at the NBA draft combine and now as potentially the final candidate to meet with executive vice president and general manager Rob Pelinka, owner Jeanie Buss and other key Lakers figures.

While some inside the organization have said the team doesn’t necessarily need to hire a coach before the NBA draft on June 26-27, there are major decisions that need to be made regarding the roster, including the possibility of trading up to three first-round picks (No. 17 this year and unprotected firsts in 2029 and 2031) on draft night.

The Lakers previously hosted New Orleans assistant coach James Borrego and UConn head coach Dan Hurley. The team offered Hurley the job, but he turned down a six-year, $70-million deal to stay with the Huskies.

The search for Darvin Ham’s replacement has stretched over a month with Pelinka conducting the process first through a series of informal conversations. In addition to Borrego, Hurley and Redick, the team also spoke with a pool of other candidates, including Boston assistant Sam Cassell, Denver assistant David Adelman and Minnesota assistant Micah Nori.

Redick, according to people with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly, has had multiple conversations with Pelinka since Ham’s firing.

Since the earliest stages of the search, though, Redick was considered a candidate by outside observers. He was briefly linked to the opening in Charlotte before moving to the foreground in the Lakers’ search.

Despite internal pushback the Lakers were conducting an open and wide-ranging search, rival NBA executives repeatedly linked the Lakers to Redick. The team’s pursuit of Hurley, in part, showed that the Lakers’ search extended beyond the known candidates.

 

Redick, who has built a successful podcast company, co-hosts one show with LeBron James called “Mind the Game,” where the two talk more in-depth about basketball strategy and play-calling.

James, who can be an unrestricted free agent this summer should he opt out of his deal, has not been directly involved in the Lakers’ search.

Redick is currently broadcasting the NBA Finals, and it has been widely speculated the Lakers would wait on him to finish his responsibilities with ESPN/ABC before hiring him as head coach.

However, the team hosted Borrego for in-person interviews two weeks ago and last week shocked the basketball world when their interest in Hurley became public.

With Redick, the Lakers would be gambling not only on a first-time NBA coach but on someone without any meaningful coaching experience at any level. Redick is regarded as a highly analytical thinker with a bright basketball mind. He played for 15 seasons in the NBA, including a stop with the Clippers, where he blossomed into one of the NBA’s best three-point shooters.

He’s the all-time leading scorer at Duke and 22nd all-time in Division I men’s basketball.

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©2024 Los Angeles Times. Visit at latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

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