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JJ Redick will be Lakers' next coach as long search ends where it started

Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Basketball

LOS ANGELES — The Lakers will hire JJ Redick as their next head coach, a person with knowledge of the situation but unauthorized to speak publicly, confirmed to The Los Angeles Times, ending a prolonged search with an aim widely believed to end at the original target.

After first offering the job to Connecticut coach Dan Hurley, a surprise candidate who turned down a six-year, $70 million deal with the Lakers on June 10, the team hosted Redick for an interview Saturday.

Redick, a former 15-year pro and current broadcaster, has no formal coaching experience.

Regarded as a bright, analytical basketball mind, Redick quickly ascended as a television analyst after his retirement in 2021. He was a pioneer in the podcasting space, one of the first active players to be a host, before continuing with a production and podcast company in retirement.

One of Redick's podcasts, "Mind the Game," is co-hosted by Lakers star LeBron James.

Redick is the 29th head coach for the franchise and the seventh hired since Phil Jackson left the Lakers in 2011.

Redick, Hurley and James Borrego were the only candidates to have in-person interviews, though Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka spoke with other candidates earlier in the process.

The Lakers zeroed in on Redick at the NBA draft combine, according to people with knowledge of the search not authorized to discuss it publicly.

After Hurley declined the job days following meetings with the Lakers, the search quickly recentered on Redick, the former Duke star meeting with the team between Games 4 and 5 of the NBA Finals, which he called for ABC/ESPN.

 

The Lakers are expected to add a former head coach to Redick's staff as a lead assistant to offset his lack of experience, people with knowledge of staff recruitment who were not authorized to discuss it publicly told The Times.

Redick replaces Darvin Ham, whom the team fired after two seasons as the head coach. Despite two playoff berths, Ham's standing within the Lakers' locker room suffered. The team looked for a "grinder," people with knowledge of the search said, who could give the team more of a strategic edge.

The Lakers also suffered from a lack of in-game adjustments. There are concerns, though, that any first-time head coach, particularly one with no coaching experience, will struggle with that part of the job.

The coaching hire is the first step in an offseason during which the team is facing crucial roster decisions, particularly with James.

James is expected to opt out of his current contract. Although the sense is he'll re-sign with the Lakers, he will be an unrestricted free agent if he declines his player option.

The team has a first-round pick in the draft, and by league rules could trade that and up to two more future first-round picks, but the Lakers will have limited options in free agency. That leaves potential trades as the primary pathway for improvement.

Redick, a star at Duke, played 15 seasons in the NBA, including four with the Clippers.


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

 

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