Lakers Next Coach Odds: ESPN Analyst Emerges Favorite

Darvin Ham, Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Anthony Davis #3 and Head coach Darvin Ham of the Los Angeles Lakers.

What originally started as a fleeting thought in NBA circles — of LeBron James’ podcast co-host coaching his Lakers — could be coming true. As of May 21, JJ Redick had emerged as the odds-on favorite to succeed Darvin Ham as the next Lakers head coach, per DraftKings Sportsbook, via FoxSports.

The report had Redick (-140) ahead of Pelicans associate head coach James Borrego (+425) and Celtics assistant coach Sam Cassell (+500). The trio, deemed the Lakers’ “lead initial targets” in the coaching search, interviewed for the Lakers job earlier in the week, per a report from The Athletic on May 21.

The Athletic labeled Redick as a candidate the Lakers are “infatuated with” so much so that they view him as a potential successor to Pat Riley, the current Miami Heat president who made his legacy coaching the Purple & Gold to four championships.

Although the potential hiring of Redick screams the involvement of James — his co-host on the “Mind the Game” podcast — Rich Paul told The Athletic that his agent has steered clear of the Lakers’ coaching process.

“LeBron James and JJ Redick, they do a podcast together,” Paul told The Athletic. “That does not mean that (James) wants Redick as his head coach.”

Does JJ Redick Fit the Bill of Longterm Coach?

The Lakers have fired seven coaches in the 13 years since Phil Jackson called it a day. As such, the Rob Pelinka-led front office is reportedly looking for a long-term hire who coaches the team into the post-LeBron James era.

The Athletic reported on May 14 that the Lakers view the next coach as “more of a hire for Anthony Davis,” the 31-year-old superstar still in his prime. James, 40, meanwhile is reportedly expected to play another two seasons at the most in the NBA.

“The Lakers are taking a methodical approach with their process and are seeking a coach who will command the locker room and hold players accountable, as well as tirelessly game plan and provide a level of structure and organization, according to multiple league and team sources,” wrote Shams Charania and Jovan Buha.

Does Redick fit the bill of a long-term coach and someone who could hold players accountable?

Jamal Crawford Endorses JJ Redick

Former four-time NBA Sixth Man of the Year believes Redick has the requisite tools to excel as a head coach in the league.

“I don’t know if he’s a shoo-in [to become Lakers coach], but definitely having that pod with those two [Redick and James] was a great segue for sure,” Crawford told “The Pat McAfee Show” on May 21 while reacting to reports of Redick ascending to the status of the frontrunner in the Lakers’ coaching search.

Crawford felt James and Redick’s interactions on their podcast gave the world a lot of insight into their basketball IQs.

“You understand how LeBron sees the game, how JJ sees it, you see how they see it together,” Crawford continued. “I think — whenever you have a great player like that — to have him on the same page as the coach. So he has a different [level of] respect for him. I know JJ wants to coach — he told me that may two-and-a-half years ago.”

Crawford went on to label Redick a “brilliant basketball mind” with the right mental makeup to coach the Lakers.

“I think he’ll be a great coach,” concluded the retired guard.

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