Where do Lakers go next in coaching search after Hurley rejection?

The “why” makes for glorious speaking head fodder. Did Dan Hurley in the end determine he simply couldn’t depart his recruits, the Huskies and the East Coast? Was this all a leverage play to get more cash out of UConn? (Reporters near Hurley say no, he genuinely struggled with the choice.) Was the Lakers supply lowball? (Let’s not name $11.7 million a 12 months, a doubling of his present wage, “lowball,” nonetheless, it was additionally not a Godfather supply he couldn’t refuse.) Somewhat of the entire above?

Finally, the why is moot — Dan Hurley spurned an offer to coach the Los Angeles Lakers to stay at UConn.

The larger questions: The place do the Lakers go from right here? What’s the plan?

Hurley felt just like the Lakers’ residence run swing. Have they got one other? Or are they in search of a sneaky double down the road? A strong single?

What the Lakers reportedly are searching for in a coach sounds extra like a fantasy want listing than actuality: a “grinder” who’s a relentless sport planner, who instructions the locker room, will maintain gamers accountable, and likewise is excellent at participant growth. (Not solely is one coach not going to embody all that, however issues like nice participant growth are organizational, not simply coach-driven.)

Head coach of the Lakers is definitely one of the prestigious jobs in basketball, nonetheless, it comes with loads of warning indicators for coaches who’ve choices (like Hurley, or Monty Williams and Tyronn Lue years earlier). Finally, expertise wins within the NBA, and the Lakers have completed seventh or worse within the West 11 out of the final 12 years (the exception was the 2020 Covid season, the place they received the title). Extra regarding in attracting expertise, even the coaches who’ve received — Frank Vogel received a title for the Lakers, Darvin Ham took them to the Western Convention Finals a season in the past — don’t final. No coach since Phil Jackson has lasted greater than three seasons with the Lakers.

The place do the Lakers go from right here? Is there a plan?

The plain reply is that the Lakers will resume their conversations with J.J. Redick and James Borrego. How far these conversations have gone depends upon who’s doing the spinning, however ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reports they by no means acquired all that severe (though the thrill was loud sufficient that some inside the group thought Redick in the end would get the job). Borrego is the confirmed, skilled coach thought-about a robust offensive thoughts, however he didn’t reach Charlotte. Redick is the larger title — and podcast accomplice of LeBron James — who may develop into the job, however could be an enormous roll of the cube as he has zero teaching expertise.

Marc Stein mentioned a fascinating name in his newsletter: Former Villanova coach Jay Wright. A handful of years in the past, this was the man all of the NBA entrance workplaces had been drooling over. He’s not solely acquired the Xs and Os chops, he confirmed unbelievable participant growth expertise, and his temperament appears higher fitted to teaching within the NBA than Hurley. The query is, does Wright wish to get again into teaching in any respect? Would he discover one thing just like the supply thrown at Hurley robust to show down? If not Wright, is there one other rock star school coach prepared to leap to the NBA?

Whoever will get employed, what the Lakers want — what they’ve given lip service to however now should comply with by means of on — is stability. They want a coach who can develop gamers and develop a program and a tradition, and that takes time. The Lakers have all the time been in a position to land star free brokers or get guys in trades, however once they had been hanging banners it was as a result of that they had developed a core of excellent younger gamers to go together with these stars — Byron Scott, AC Inexperienced and others within the Showtime period, Derek Fisher, Andrew Bynum and Luke Walton on future title groups. Take a look at the groups taking part in on this 12 months’s NBA Finals and see they draft and develop function gamers round their stars to make all of it work.

The one factor that appears sure now could be that the Lakers are going to take their time. This probably drags out till after the NBA Finals, though the Lakers reportedly need a coach in place earlier than the NBA Draft, which supplies them a bit time.

However what’s the plan?

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