Connect with us

Los Angeles Lakers

Hurley turns down Lakers coaching job; who are LA’s top candidates now?

Are LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Co. all the way back to square one?



Apr 6, 2024; Glendale, AZ, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Dan Hurley reacts against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the semifinals of the men's Final Four of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

University of Connecticut Head Coach Dan Hurley has turned down a six-year, $70 million contract offer from the Los Angeles Lakers to return to Storrs and try to lead the Huskies to a third straight national championship.

Hurley met with Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and General Manager Rob Pelinka last week, telling ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that LA made a “compelling case” and laid out a “compelling vision” for the direction of the franchise. Ultimately, that wasn’t enough to pull him away from what he’s built at UConn.

Hurley’s candidacy came as a surprise to most, including members of LA’s front office, though he was reportedly Buss and Pelinka’s top option from the start. Now that he’s said no to a lucrative opportunity to lead LeBron James and Anthony Davis, where do the Lakers turn to find – and actually land – their next head coach?

Available coaching candidates for LA after Hurley says no to Lakers

Unless another Hurley-like surprise pops up, Pelinka and Buss will likely recycle through a list of candidates who were already linked to LA’s top job:

James Borrego

The current New Orleans Pelicans assistant was high on the Lakers’ list before the Hurley rumors surfaced. Borrego led the Charlotte Hornets to a 138-163 record across four seasons from 2018-19 to ’21-22. He’s also a finalist for the head job with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

JJ Redick

Redick has yet to formally interview with the Lakers because of his broadcasting commitments with ESPN, which run through the NBA finals. It would be a major leap for Redick to become a first-time head coach for a championship-or-bust team with a veteran like James.

Tyronne Lue and Jason Kidd both re-upped with the Clippers and Dallas Mavericks, respectively, taking themselves out of the running. It’s becoming clearer that the Lakers’ job isn’t as desirable as it may seem from the outside. No coach since Phil Jackson, who retired in 2011, has lasted more than three seasons at the helm in LA.

It’s a pressure-packed job that comes with its perks but plenty of drawbacks. After losing out on Hurley, the Lakers appear to be back to square one with a fairly uninspiring list of names.

Thank you for reading The Dunk Central. Please follow us on Twitter for the latest news and insights on your favorite teams and players. It’s due to your support that we can become one of the market’s fastest-growing NBA outlets!

Andrew Hanlon is the Assistant Editor for The Dunk Central. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and has been writing about sports professionally for more than a decade. He started out covering local high school sports before transitioning into a full-time NBA connoisseur. He has been published on FanSided, SBNation and Sportscasting.