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Lakers’ Pursuit Of JJ Redick Gets Even Funnier, In That They Are Now Pursuing Dan Hurley

Head coach Dan Hurley of the Connecticut Huskies reacts in the first half against the Purdue Boilermakers during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament National Championship game at State Farm Stadium on April 08, 2024 in Glendale, Arizona.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Just a few short days after The Athletic's Shams Charania assured all of us that the Los Angeles Lakers were "zeroing in on JJ Redick as the frontrunner" to become their next head coach, Charania's former mentor and current adversary, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, blew everything up. Thursday's sunrise brought with it a new report from Woj, stating that the Lakers are in fact on the verge of making a "massive, long-term contract offer" to current UConn head coach Dan Hurley.

Hurley, whose name hasn't popped up in any previous reporting about the Lakers' coaching search, led UConn to back-to-back national titles and is currently in the process of building college basketball's next great dynasty. His success at the college level, both as a tactician and a developer of talent, makes him an obviously attractive coaching candidate for NBA teams, but who really cares about all that? We're here to enjoy the latest turn in the ongoing battle for scoop supremacy between Woj and Shams. To that end, it's hard not to read this bit from Wojnarowski's report as a direct shot at his former pupil:

The Lakers have had preliminary contact with Hurley and the sides are planning to escalate discussions in the coming days, sources told ESPN. Hurley has been at the forefront of the Lakers' search from the beginning of the process, even while the organization has done its due diligence interviewing several other candidates, sources said.

ESPN

It was Hurley all along, Charania! You never had the scoop! Get back in the shallow end, kid!

Wojnarowski's report also offers up plenty of fresh palace intrigue. It always seemed likely that Charania's pumping of Redick's candidacy was coming from someone in LeBron James's camp, given that every report from Charania was caveated with a claim that James was not pulling the strings in order to get his podcast buddy a new job. But even then, one could imagine James and the Lakers' front office being aligned—if James and Rich Paul were using Charania to keep themselves clean while Rob Pelinka worked to bring in the guy everyone wanted, then everybody wins.

But! Hurley's sudden emergence as the top candidate suggests that there might actually be some kind of split between camps in the Lakers' organization. If Hurley really has been the top choice all along, as Woj reports, then someone was perhaps trying to nudge the Lakers' front office in another direction by getting Charania to compare Redick to Pat Riley.

Anyway, I'm sure the Lakers will get this all figured out in due time. For now, we can only hope that the next funniest possible thing happens: Hurley decides to stay at UConn, Redick, feeling used, cancels his podcast with James and goes back to TV, and the Lakers end up with Frank Vogel coaching Bronny James next season.

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