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Is Los Angeles Lakers target Dan Hurley ready to coach in the NBA?

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With all eyes on JJ Redick, the revelation that the Lakers have actually been targeting UConn’s coach is a complete surprise. Even more so when considering the situation that he would be walking away from were he to take the job in LA.

The Lakers are looking at Dan Hurley

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Los Angeles Lakers are now targeting University of Connecticut, Huskies coach Dan Hurley. This of course comes after being heavily linked with JJ Redick who is a co-host of a podcast with Lakers star LeBron James, a broadcaster with ESPN, and a long-time player first with Duke and then in the NBA for almost 20 years. Indeed, having fired Darvin Ham after just two seasons it would appear that the Lakers search for a coach has become even more intriguing.

This of course brings us to Hurley himself. Fresh from back-to-back national championships with the Huskies, Hurley has established himself as one of the best coaches in college. To that end, it makes sense that the offer that the Lakers are reportedly preparing is a “massive, long-term contract offer.” It is also understood that preliminary contact has been made with both parties “planning to escalate discussions” in the coming days according to reports.

A Closer Look at Dan Hurley

As mentioned above, Hurley has guided the Huskies to unprecedented success over the last two seasons. With that in mind, the Lakers aren’t the only ones who have taken note. Indeed, earlier this offseason the 51-year-old reportedly turned down an approach from the University of Kentucky, arguably the best job in college basketball due to the institution’s history and resources. At the time, Hurley indicated that he had no interest in coaching anywhere else in college, but would be open to a post in the NBA later in his career, something he explained by saying he still has some “developing to do on the sideline,” an apparent reference to his emotive approach to coaching. “There’s no one coaching like me in the NBA,” he said then. “They’re not ready ... and certainly, I’m not ready. [But] that is something I aspire to down the road.”

Now, here’s where we get to the details, namely Hurley’s contract. Following the national championship that he won in 2023, Hurley signed a six-year deal worth $32.1 million that placed him among the top 10 highest-paid coaches in college. He then followed that up by winning a second consecutive title, becoming the first coach to do so since Billy Donovan did it with Florida in 2006 and 2007. While it has been reported that he is currently in talks with UConn over a new deal, nothing has been established.

At this point, it remains unclear as to whether Hurley will make the jump to the pros. Indeed, it looks even more uncertain when considering the fact that he’s already begun constructing a roster that could see the Huskies go on the hunt for a three-peat this coming season. With the likes of Alex Karaban, Hassan Diarra, and Jaylin Stewart, among others, all returning for the 2024-25 season, it seems a stretch to think that he would just up and leave. That said, stranger things have happened in Sports so, as we always say, watch this space.

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