Familiar Name Emerges as Frontrunner for Lakers Coaching Vacancy: Report

Lakers star LeBron James is not ready to talk about his plans for next season.

Getty Images Lakers star LeBron James is not ready to talk about his plans for next season.

There is a new leader in the clubhouse to become the Los Angeles Lakers next head coach after Dan Hurley spurned the historic franchise to remain in the collegiate ranks.

The frontrunner as of Saturday, June 15, is a familiar name — that of former NBA player and current ESPN broadcaster/podcaster JJ Redick, who has held the moniker of frontrunner for the Lakers job once already over the last several weeks. Redick took a backseat to Hurley after a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, which indicated that Hurley was L.A.’s coach of choice and that an offer was forthcoming.

However, Los Angeles flipped the script back a few pages after Hurley declined a $70 million offer over six years. Timothy Rapp of Bleacher Report on Saturday cited a report from Marc Stein, in which a league source told Stein that the Lakers are more than likely going to hire Redick.

“It would appear that JJ Redick is firmly in the driver’s seat for the Los Angeles Lakers’ head-coaching position,” Rapp wrote. “A ‘source close to the process’ told NBA insider Marc Stein, ‘You know who is getting the job,’ seemingly referencing JJ Redick.”

Lakers Interviewed JJ Redick for Second Time Over Weekend

JJ Redick announcing Lakers game

Getty JJ Redick calls an NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets.

Redick already interviewed with the Lakers once several months ago, though Wojnarowski reported on Thursday that he would do so again following the call of Game 4 of the NBA Finals between the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics.

“Redick, an ESPN NBA analyst who played 15 years in the league, had a 90-plus-minute visit with Lakers vice president and general manager Rob Pelinka last month at the Chicago draft combine,” Wojnarowski wrote. “Now, a trip to Los Angeles will go far deeper into detail on the job and the meetings will include Pelinka and owner Jeanie Buss, sources said.”

Assuming that meeting goes (or went) well, Redick should have the inside track simply because of the developments between the Cleveland Cavaliers and another hot head coaching candidate in James Borrego.

“Borrego’s apparent lead in the Cleveland search could end up leaving Redick as the only top-tier candidate left on the Lakers’ list that they have a clear shot at,” according to Stein’s Saturday report.

Borrego was the head coach of the Charlotte Hornets for four seasons between 2018-22. He worked with the San Antonio Spurs before that as an assistant and served as an assistant with the New Orleans Pelicans last season.

JJ Redick’s Relationship With LeBron James Could Help Him Land Lakers Job

JJ Redick

GettyJJ Redick of ESPN.

Seemingly another in for Redick with the Lakers is his existing business relationship with star LeBron James.

Redick and James co-host a podcast together entitled “Mind the Game,” which the duo debuted earlier this year.

James has said recently that he has no say in who the Lakers ultimately hire to run their sideline. However, James can opt out of the final year of his contract this summer, which gives him maximum leverage not only to get the deal he wants and to try and bring his son onto the roster via the draft, but also to gain input on who his next head coach will be — assuming he doesn’t already have it.

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