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Lakers reportedly targeting UConn's Dan Hurley to be next head coach - NBC Sports

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Lakers reportedly making 'massive offer' to Hurley June 6, 2024 10:06 AM The Dan Patrick Show discusses news of the Los Angeles Lakers reportedly set to make a 'massive offer' to UConn's Dan Hurley for their vacant head coaching job, analyzing how he would fit in the NBA.

In a sharp turn from the rumors floating around in recent days, the Lakers are “targeting” two-time NCAA national champion coach Dan Hurley of UConn to take over as their next head coach.

Los Angeles is preparing to offer Hurley—a gifted Xs and Os coach known for player development—a “massive, long-term contract” in hopes he cannot only coach LeBron James in his final years but also transition the Lakers to the Anthony Davis era and beyond, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. He described the Lakers pursuit of Hurley as “relentless.”

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...

Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka and governor Jeanie Buss are eager to formally discuss with Hurley their vision of marrying his dominant program -- built upon his tactical acumen and his elite player development -- with the storied Lakers brand, sources said.

Hurley confirmed to his players that he has spoken to the Lakers but said it is “business as usual” with UConn right now. Hurley has been trying to negotiate an extension with UConn and would not be the first coach to use an NBA team as leverage to get a bigger deal.

Dan Hurley met with his players at UConn this morning and informed them he's been in talks with the Lakers, a source tells Fox Sports. Hurley didn't want to hide the fact that this is real. Huskies have a noon practice and Hurley told his players it's business as usual for now.

— John Fanta (@John_Fanta) June 6, 2024

Hurley previously said he was concerned about burnout at the college level, and he might want to test himself in the NBA.

Dan Hurley says burnout or an opportunity to coach in the #NBA "down down the road" if he can mature a little bit with his emotions would be the only reasons that he'd leave #UConn pic.twitter.com/SYC3a4UxDA

— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) April 17, 2024

LeBron James praised Hurley in a post on X in April after the Huskie’s coach appeared on a podcast (somewhat ironically) with J.J. Redick.

He’s so DAMN GOOD!!! Along with his staff. Super creative with their O! Love it

— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 19, 2024

As for Anthony Davis, Woj writes:

The Lakers have been committed to making All-NBA forward Anthony Davis a significant part of the conversation on the next head coach and want to make sure he’s aligned with how a new coach plans to feature him on offense and defense, sources said.

More than simply pleasing their stars — although that is always important in the NBA — the Lakers reportedly see Hurley as the kind of coach needed in an evolving NBA landscape. With the second apron of the luxury tax looming as almost a defacto hard cap, the ability to develop drafted college players into at least solid NBA role players will be critical for teams looking to maintain success. Teams will be built more like the Denver Nuggets — two elite stars, quality role players in a good system around them — than the three-star super teams like the current Phoenix Suns. That means finding good role players and fitting them into a system, and it means developing players. (Teams may go above the second apron for a season to chase a ring, or two tops, but the team-building restrictions once above that line make it impossible to just pay the tax and live with it.)

Hurley seems uniquely well-suited to do that. The question is, does he really want to jump to the pressure cooker of not just the NBA, but the high-profile Lakers job (on the other coast from where he has lived).

While the buzz in league circles had grown around Redick — who did meet with the Lakers twice — the franchise had pushed back against the idea they were close to hiring him. While Redick has an unquestionably high basketball IQ and understands what it takes to grow and develop as a player, the Lakers just had two seasons with a highly respected assistant coach in Darvin Ham, who did not connect with players and succeed at the level the Lakers wanted. To go from Ham to the even more inexperienced Redick — who has never coached at the high school, college or pro level, even as an assistant — would have been a huge risk.

Hurley is one of the hottest names in coaching and if the Lakers can land him, it’s a coup. For Hurley, this would also be a big bump in pay, he reportedly makes a little more than $5 million a year to coach UConn, this new contract likely comes close or will double that figure. Or, he could be leveraging a few more million out of UConn.

Hurley would be walking into one of the most prestigious but challenging jobs in the NBA. The expectations from the organization and fans are insanely high, even when the talent on the roster does not match those lofty dreams. However, if Hurley truly wants to test himself, there may not be a better place.

This deal makes sense for both sides, which is a sign it could get done fast.

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