Lakers Targeting Dan Hurley In Head Coaching Search

The Lakers are targeting UConn’s Dan Hurley to become their next head coach, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports that the team is preparing a “massive, long-term” offer for the back-to-back national champion.

Sources tell ESPN that Hurley has been at the “forefront” of the Lakers’ search process, though the club has only had preliminary discussions with him so far and has done its due diligence on other candidates. The plan is for Los Angeles to escalate its discussions with Hurley in the coming days, Wojnarowski adds.

After playing his college ball at Seton Hall from 1991-96, Hurley immediately transitioned into coaching, spending a year as a high school assistant coach before being hired to Rutgers’ staff as an assistant.

Hurley became the head coach at St. Benedict’s Prep (a New Jersey high school) from 2001-10, then broke into the college ranks at a head coach with coached Wagner from 2010-12. Following a stint as Rhode Island’s head coach from 2012-18, he arrived at Connecticut in 2018. He has since led the Huskies to a 141-58 (.709) record, with national championships in both 2023 and 2024.

As Wojnarowski details, Hurley has talked in the past about wanting to one day coach in the NBA and has let the Lakers know he’s interested in exploring what a partnership would look like. For their part, Lakers governor Jeanie Buss and head of basketball operations Rob Pelinka are enthusiastic about the idea of bringing his “tactical acumen and elite player development” to the Lakers, Woj adds, while star forward LeBron James has expressed admiration for Hurley’s creative offensive system.

It’s a surprising development, as the Lakers were long believed to be eyeing ESPN and ABC analyst J.J. Redick for their head coaching vacancy. Several reports from many different outlets in recent weeks have identified Redick as the frontrunner for the position, with Shams Charania of The Athletic stating on Tuesday that L.A. was “zeroing in” on the former NBA sharpshooter.

Wojnarowski described Redick several weeks ago as a “name to watch” in the Lakers’ search, noting that the team was “drilling down” on him in its initial research. However, he has never described Redick as the favorite.

There was a belief that the recent silence from Wojnarowski on the Lakers’ search was perhaps due to the fact that Redick was an ESPN colleague, but it appears now that Woj just had different information — he stresses in today’s report that the “potential of landing Hurley has been the focus of the Lakers’ search,” even as they interviewed candidates like Redick, James Borrego, and Sam Cassell, among others.

According to Wojnarowski, part of Hurley’s appeal is the fact that the Lakers anticipate player development becoming a greater priority for the franchise under the current CBA, due to the roster-building limitations facing teams above the tax aprons. They believed that their younger players, including Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, and Max Christie, can continue to get better under a coach like Hurley.

The Lakers have been searching for a new head coach since formally dismissing Darvin Ham on May 3. Ham had a 90-74 (.549) record during his two seasons in Los Angeles, winning a pair of playoff series in his first year last spring.

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