J.J. Redick

Lakers Meet With J.J. Redick, James Borrego, Sam Cassell

The interview portion of the Lakers‘ head coaching search is underway, according to Jovan Buha and Shams Charania of The Athletic, who report that the team has had formal meetings in recent days with ESPN analyst J.J. Redick, Pelicans assistant James Borrego, and Celtics assistant Sam Cassell.

The Lakers also intend to meet with Micah Nori (Timberwolves assistant), David Adelman (Nuggets assistant), and Chris Quinn (Heat assistant), per Buha and Charania.

Of those three, Nori is the only one whose team’s season isn’t over. He has also taken on a larger role on Minnesota’s bench during the postseason due to a knee procedure that has rendered Wolves head coach Chris Finch immobile during games, so scheduling an interview with him will be a little trickier than lining up meetings with Adelman and Quinn.

The Athletic previously referred to Redick, Borrego, and Cassell as the Lakers’ “initial leading targets” in their head coaching search. Since then, multiple reports have indicated that people around the NBA view Redick as the frontrunner for the job.

League sources tell Buha and Charania that the Lakers are “infatuated” with Redick’s potential as a head coach, despite his lack of experience. They view him as a “Pat Riley-like coaching prospect” who could thrive both in the short and long-term, The Athletic’s duo adds.

Redick co-hosts a podcast with Lakers star LeBron James, resulting in speculation that his relationship with LeBron is driving his candidacy in Los Angeles. However, James’ agent Rich Paul has insisted that’s not the case, as we relayed this morning. Redick also reportedly received consideration for the Hornets’ coaching job earlier this spring and interviewed with the Raptors in 2023.

Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson and Mavericks assistant Sean Sweeney have also been mentioned as possible Lakers candidates in recent weeks, but neither was mentioned in The Athletic’s latest report.

Pacific Notes: LeBron, Lakers, Jackson-Davis, Beal

The idea that LeBron James will be a driving force in choosing the Lakers‘ next head coach is inaccurate, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who said during an appearance on FanDuel’s Run it Back show on Monday that the star forward has had no involvement in the process so far (Twitter video link).

“I’m told LeBron James is not involved in the Lakers’ head coaching search,” Charania said. “… (He) has made it clear this is the organization’s decision. He’s had no conversations with the Laker about J.J. Redick, his podcast partner. He’s had no conversations with J.J. about that position as well.

“I did speak to (James’ agent) Rich Paul this morning. He said, ‘LeBron James and J.J. Redick, they do a podcast together. That does not mean that he wants J.J. Redick as his head coach.’ He’s leaving it up to the organization.”

Previous reports have indicated that the Lakers will more heavily weigh Anthony Davis‘ future and input as they decide on a new head coach, since the expectation is that Davis’ time in Los Angeles will extend beyond that of James, who will turn 40 later this year.

Charania reiterated that point during his Run it Back segment, noting that Davis has “built a rapport” with James Borrego. While Charania cites Davis and Borrego overlapping during their stints with the Pelicans, it’s worth noting that Borrego left New Orleans for Orlando during the 2012 offseason, which is when Davis was drafted, so any overlap was very brief. Borrego returned to the Pelicans in 2023 as an assistant on Willie Green‘s staff.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • In a column for The Los Angeles Times, Bill Plaschke makes it clear he’s not a fan of the idea of the Lakers hiring Redick, writing that it would “not only be one of the oddest Lakers coaching hires in a long list of them…but it might also be the first talk-show driven head coaching hire in NBA history.”
  • Warriors guard Brandin Podziemski, who was named to the All-Rookie first team on Monday, believes his teammate Trayce Jackson-Davis should have joined him in receiving All-Rookie recognition, writes Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. Jackson-Davis narrowly missed earning a spot on the second team, finishing 11th among vote-getters, a single point behind Grizzlies forward GG Jackson. “Just to see from a guard’s perspective (Jackson-Davis’) impact on our games and how he helped us win games this year, I think maybe the voters should take winning into more of an account,” Podziemski said. “It sucks to see him not make it. I think he was well deserving of it.”
  • Could Bradley Beal thrive in a point guard role the same way that Jrue Holiday did under new Suns head coach Mike Budenholzer in Milwaukee? Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic weighs that question, considering just how important it is for Phoenix to add a true point guard this offseason.

Lakers Rumors: Mitchell, Redick, LeBron, Reaves, Bronny

As the Lakers weigh their offseason options, one path they will seriously consider is packaging players and draft picks to attempt to acquire a third star to play alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Within the last year, star guards like Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, and Zach LaVine have been mentioned as possible targets for Los Angeles, but Jovan Buha of The Athletic (YouTube link) says another name will likely be at the top of the team’s wish list entering the summer.

“If the Lakers go down the three-star path, and it’s still unclear — I think they’re going to kick the can down the road and see the possibility and see what the asking price is. There are teams that can outbid them if they get into a bidding war,” Buha said in an episode of Buha’s Block. “But if they do go down that road and at least explore it, (Cavaliers guard) Donovan Mitchell would be the preferred guy.”

There’s no guarantee that Mitchell will be available this summer, since the Cavs hope to sign him to a long-term extension. If Mitchell turns down that offer and ends up on the trade block, the Lakers would have plenty of competition for the five-time All-Star and wouldn’t necessarily be able to offer the best package, as Buha notes. L.A. would be able to offer up to three first-round picks alongside perhaps guard Austin Reaves, forward Rui Hachimura, and other salary-matching pieces.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • Echoing previous reports, Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times says people around the NBA view J.J. Redick as the favorite in the Lakers’ head coaching search. Opinions on Redick’s potential as a coach are split, with some high on his upside due to his understanding of the game and his ability to clearly communicate ideas, while others “see nothing but inexperience” or believe his business relationship with LeBron James would have a negative impact on the locker room, Woike writes. Sources tell The Times that one reason Redick is viewed as a frontrunner is a widespread belief that he’ll have “incredibly strong” interviews.
  • Within that same L.A. Times story, Woike explores the likelihood of LeBron remaining with the Lakers (his sources believe it’ll happen), discusses the team’s top trade targets (he says none of Young, Murray, LaVine, and Brandon Ingram were seriously linked to the Lakers at the combine), and mentions the team’s ongoing fondness for Reaves. According to Woike, the Lakers regard Reaves highly as a “prospect for the future” on a team-friendly contract.
  • Shams Charania of The Athletic is among the reporters to stress that drafting Bronny James won’t offer a team any assurances of having a shot at his superstar father. “It would not surprise me in the coming weeks if a team does reach out to (agent) Rich Paul – or anyone else around Bronny James, (including) LeBron James himself – and says, ‘Hey, if we draft Bronny James, would you come as well, LeBron?'” Charania said on the Up & Adams Show (Twitter video link). “And the answer to that is going to be no, as of right now. That’s not a given, that’s not something that’s going to be preordained.” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said earlier in the week that Paul has made a concerted effort to dispel the idea that his father-and-son clients need to play together.
  • The Lakers announced on Friday (via Twitter) that they’ll host three preseason games outside of Los Angeles in the fall. The Lakers will play the visiting Timberwolves on October 4 and the Suns on Oct. 6 at Acrisure Arena in Palm Springs before facing the Warriors on Oct. 15 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Latest On Lakers’ Head Coaching Search

The Lakers have received permission to interview several assistants from around the NBA for their head coaching job, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter links). Wojnarowski reports that Los Angeles has been granted permission to talk to the following candidates:

  • Nuggets assistant David Adelman
  • Pelicans assistant James Borrego
  • Celtics assistant Sam Cassell
  • Timberwolves assistant Micah Nori
  • Heat assistant Chris Quinn

A report on Tuesday from The Athletic indicated that Borrego, Cassell, and J.J. Redick are the “initial leading targets” in the Lakers’ search for Darvin Ham‘s replacement. Because Redick is working as an analyst at ESPN/ABC, L.A. obviously wouldn’t need to seek permission from a rival team to meet with him.

Kenny Atkinson of the Warriors and Sean Sweeney of the Mavericks are the other assistants who have been linked to the Lakers’ open head coaching position. Their omissions from Wojnarowski’s report don’t necessarily mean they’re no longer on Los Angeles’ radar, since Woj’s list isn’t necessarily exhaustive. But Atkinson and Sweeney don’t appear to be among the frontrunners at this point.

Of course, Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue has been mentioned as the candidate who would be atop the Lakers’ wish list if he were available, but there’s still no indication that the Clips will grant their cross-town rivals permission to talk to Lue, who is under contract for one more year and is expected to discuss an extension this offseason.

In his latest Substack story, Marc Stein also checks in on the Lakers’ coaching search, writing that he’s gotten the “distinct vibe” from insiders gathered at the draft combine in Chicago that if there’s an early favorite for the job, it’s Redick. Several people in coaching circles, Stein says, believe it will be Redick’s job to lose in the interview process.

However, Stein has also heard from league sources that Cassell is a “legitimate candidate to watch.” Like Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Cassell is represented by Klutch Sports. Additionally, Stein notes, the veteran assistant has a reputation for connecting with star players.

If Cassell doesn’t get the Lakers’ job or another head coaching position, the belief is that Doc Rivers will aggressively push to bring him to Milwaukee to join his Bucks coaching staff, Stein reports. Cassell previously served as an assistant under Rivers with both the Clippers and 76ers.

With only one other team (the Wizards) currently in the market for a head coach and Redick expected to finish out the playoffs with ESPN/ABC, there’s an expectation that the Lakers’ search may end up extending well into June, Stein adds.

Sam Cassell Among Lakers’ Head Coaching Candidates

Celtics assistant Sam Cassell is among the candidates to become the Lakers‘ next head coach, according to Shams Charania and Jovan Buha of The Athletic, who describe Cassell, James Borrego, and J.J. Redick as the team’s “initial leading targets.” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Monday that Borrego and Redick are “names to watch” in Los Angeles’ head coaching search.

A former All-Star and three-time champion as an NBA player, Cassell transitioned to coaching in 2009. He spent five seasons as an assistant with the Wizards before spending the next decade coaching under Doc Rivers, including stints with the Clippers from 2014-20 and the Sixers from 2020-23. He was hired by the Celtics as Joe Mazzulla‘s lead assistant last spring.

According to reports from both Charania and Buha at The Athletic and Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin of ESPN, the Lakers’ initial round of head coaching interviews is expected to focus on candidates the franchise doesn’t know as well and hasn’t previously vetted. After speaking to those candidates, the Lakers will move on to talking to the ones they’re more familiar with before eventually narrowing the full group down to a smaller pool of finalists, per ESPN.

In addition to Borrego, Redick, and Cassell, potential candidates like David Adelman, Kenny Atkinson, Micah Nori, Chris Quinn, and Sean Sweeney have been linked to the Lakers. Here’s more on the search:

  • Sources tell Charania and Buha that the Lakers are seeking a coach who can command the locker room and hold players accountable. Their ideal candidate would also “tirelessly game-plan and provide a level of structure and organization,” according to The Athletic. Wojnarowski and McMenamin add that the term “grinder” keeps coming up in Rob Pelinka‘s conversations with people around the league about what he’s looking for.
  • While the Lakers are hoping to have LeBron James around for at least one or two more seasons, they’re “placing a premium” on finding a head coach who can maximize Anthony Davis‘ talents, per Charania and Buha. “This should be more of a hire about AD than LeBron,” one source told The Athletic.
  • Longtime Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski is serving as a useful “unofficial resource” for the Lakers during their search process, multiple sources tell The Athletic. Krzyzewski has a level of familiarity with a number of the candidates L.A. is considering, including former Blue Devils sharpshooter Redick.

Woj: James Borrego, J.J. Redick “Names To Watch” In Lakers’ Coaching Search

The Lakers will intensify their search for a new head coach at this week’s Draft Combine in Chicago, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (video link), who identifies James Borrego and J.J. Redick as “names to watch” in that process.

Borrego currently serves as lead assistant for the Pelicans and helped the team develop a top-10 offense by utilizing Zion Williamson as a point forward, Wojnarowski notes. Borrego was the head coach in Charlotte from 2018-22, compiling a 138-163 record in four seasons. He also went 10-20 as interim coach in Orlando at the end of the 2014/15 season and spent time as an assistant to Gregg Popovich in San Antonio as well.

Redick is a member of ESPN/ABC’s top broadcasting team and has become a prominent media figure since retiring as a player in 2021. Although he doesn’t have any coaching experience, he benefits from a close relationship with Lakers star LeBron James, who serves as his co-host on the “Mind of the Game” podcast.

Lakers officials are expected to begin contacting rival teams this week to request permission to interview their assistant coaches, Woj adds. A report on Saturday identified Timberwolves assistant Micah NoriNuggets assistant David AdelmanMavericks assistant Sean Sweeney, and Heat assistant Chris Quinn as potential candidates, but Nori, Adelman and Sweeney are all still involved with playoff teams.

L.A. will likely conduct a “long search” and interview numerous candidates before hiring its next coach, according to Wojnarowski.

Lakers Eyeing Nori, Adelman, Sweeney, Quinn In Coaching Search

The Lakers, who are in the process of searching for a new head coach, have interest in a handful of veteran assistant coaches around the NBA, Jovan Buha of The Athletic stated within a mailbag video (YouTube link; hat tip to Lakers Nation).

According to Buha, Timberwolves assistant Micah Nori, Nuggets assistant David Adelman, Mavericks assistant Sean Sweeney, and Heat assistant Chris Quinn are among the head coaching candidates that intrigue the Lakers.

Nori has been with the Timberwolves since 2021, having previously served as an assistant in Detroit, Denver, Sacramento, and Toronto. Adelman, who has been an assistant under Michael Malone in Denver since 2017, was on the Wolves’ staff from 2011-15 and was with the Magic in 2016/17. Sweeney’s stint with the Mavericks, which began in 2021, was preceded by assistant jobs in Detroit, Milwaukee, and Brooklyn. Quinn has been on Erik Spoelstra‘s staff in Miami since 2014.

“To my knowledge, the Lakers are not at the stage of interviewing coaches yet, but that will be happening soon,” Buha said. “It’s a little tricky timing-wise because you have Adelman, Nori, and Sweeney all in playoff series right now. You have J.J. Redick who is on the top broadcast team at ESPN and is supposed to be calling the Finals, which would be about a week or so before the draft.

“So it’s going to be interesting to see how the Lakers end up doing their interviews and just the timing of it and if they request certain guys while they’re still in the playoffs, how that process works with the teams.”

[RELATED: 2024 NBA Head Coaching Search Tracker]

As Buha observes, the logistics may be especially challenging with Nori, who is essentially functioning as a co-head coach for the Timberwolves in their series vs. Denver due to the knee injury that has affected Chris Finch‘s ability to occupy his usual spot on the sidelines. For what it’s worth, it doesn’t sound like the Lakers are in a rush to make a hire within the next week or two, so if Nori is one of their top choices, they could be willing to wait for him.

“From what I’ve been told, the Lakers’ plan is to have a coach in place by the NBA draft, which is June 26,” Buha said.

According to Buha, Tyronn Lue is probably the Lakers’ top choice, but there has still been no indication that the Clippers‘ head coach will become available this offseason. Redick, Kenny Atkinson, and James Borrego have also been mentioned as possibilities for the Lakers; Charles Lee and Mike Budenholzer were too, but they’ve since taken head coaching jobs with other teams.

Appearing on ESPN’s NBA Countdown on Saturday (Twitter video link), Adrian Wojnarowski described Redick as a candidate that the Lakers have been “drilling down on” in their initial research. Woj adds that L.A.’s search is expected to be “wide-ranging” and “lengthy.”

Coaching Rumors: Hornets, Lakers, Redick, Billups

The Hornets expect to decide on their new head coach within the next seven days, co-owner Rick Schnall told Alex Zietlow of The Charlotte Observer. While playing in the pro-am prior to the PGA’s Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, Schnall stated that the organization is nearing a final decision, but he wasn’t willing to tip his hand.

“We’re close. You’ll see us announce it certainly in the next week,” Schnall said. “We’re going to hire the best person that we can for our team.” 

The Observer has reported that Celtics assistant Charles Lee is considered the favorite to replace Steve Clifford, who agreed to move into a front office position after the season ended. Lee was one of several assistant coaches that the Hornets received permission to interview in early April. Zietlow notes that Lee is considered one of the best assistants in the league and he has a prior working relationship in Atlanta with Jeff Peterson, the team’s new vice president of basketball operations.

There are more coaching rumors to pass along:

  • The Lakers are moving slowly in their coaching search because two of their preferred options are unavailable, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack column (subscription required). Jason Kidd, a former assistant in L.A., signed a multi-year extension with the Mavericks this week. And even if Tyronn Lue‘s extension talks are unsuccessful, the Clippers hold an option on him for next season, so it’s unlikely they’ll set him free to sign with their cross-town rival. Stein adds that the Lakers are conducting internal meetings this week to set their priorities in finding Darvin Ham‘s replacement. However, they’ve yet to request permission to interview any assistant coaches who might be targets, such as Lee, the Warriors Kenny Atkinson or the Nuggets’ David Adelman.
  • In the same column, Stein wonders whether there’s any action ESPN can take to prevent losing J.J. Redick to the coaching ranks before the NBA Finals wrap up. Redick is considered a potential candidate for the Hornets and Lakers, but he’s also a member of the network’s prime broadcast team. Stein points out that Doc Rivers had a featured position with ESPN before leaving in late January to become head coach of the Bucks.
  • Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian adds credence to the claim that Chauncey Billups would have other options if he parts ways with the Trail Blazers. A source told Fentress before the playoffs began that Billups could become a candidate for teams that are eliminated in the early rounds.

Jason Kidd, Ty Lue Unlikely To Be Candidates For Lakers’ Job

Don’t expect Jason Kidd or Tyronn Lue to replace Darvin Ham as the Lakers’ head coach, Marc Stein reports in his latest Stein Line notes package.

Kidd, who has one year left on his contract with the Mavericks, will likely receive a contract extension in the near future after the team advanced to the Western Conference semifinals, according to Stein’s sources. Kidd was a top Lakers assistant coach under Frank Vogel.

As previously reported by ESPN, the Clippers are expected to pursue an extension with Lue, who also has one year remaining on his deal. Lue has stated he’s eager to sign an extension with their organization.

That would block not only the Lakers but the Suns from making a run at Lue. It’s also believed that the Cavaliers would be interested in a Lue reunion if they decide to change coaches. However, J.B. Bickerstaff strengthened his resume as the Cavs rallied to win Game 7 against Orlando on Sunday and advanced to the second round.

That’s why it’s not a far-fetched notion that J.J. Redick has a shot to replace Ham, Stein adds, despite Redick’s lack of coaching experience. Redick, who is also a candidate for the Hornets’ opening, is currently an ESPN analyst and podcaster after a long NBA career.

Like Kidd, Mavericks GM Nico Harrison is also on course for a contract extension from new Mavericks majority owner Patrick Dumont, Stein says.

Harrison’s trade-deadline acquisitions of P.J. Washington and Daniel Gafford helped the team win 50 games again during the regular season and claim the No. 5 seed in the West. His risky acquisition of Kyrie Irving last season has worked out even better than most NBA observers anticipated.

Lakers Fire Darvin Ham

1:17pm: Ham has officially been dismissed, the Lakers confirmed in a press release (Twitter link via Khobi Price of The Southern California News Group).

1:09pm: The Lakers are firing head coach Darvin Ham, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter links).

According to Wojnarowski, general manager Rob Pelinka recently broke the news to Ham over the phone.

Sources tell Shams Charania and Jovan Buha of The Athletic that L.A. will soon begin an “extensive search” for a new head coach, with former Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer, Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, and former NBA player and current ESPN analyst J.J. Redick among the candidates.

Tyronn Lue is another name to watch, per Charania and Buha, though he is currently the Clippers‘ head coach. Lue has one year left on his contract, according to The Athletic.

Multiple reporters, including Marc Stein and ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, recently cited Redick as a candidate if Ham were to be fired. Redick co-hosts a podcast with Lakers superstar LeBron James. He’s also said to be a “serious candidate” for Charlotte’s head coaching position.

An eight-year NBA veteran as a player, Ham was a longtime assistant before getting his first head coaching job with the Lakers a couple years ago. He compiled a 90-74 regular season record (.549 win%) and a 9-12 playoff record (.429) in his two seasons at the helm. The team also won a play-in game in each of the past two seasons to advance as the No. 7 seed.

That postseason record is a little misleading, since L.A. made the Western Conference Finals last year before being swept by the Nuggets, who went on to win the championship. The Lakers lost to the Nuggets again in ’23/24, dropping their first-round series in five games.

It’s been a hell of a two years … I’ll tell you that,” Ham said Monday after L.A. was eliminated, per McMenamin. “Sitting in this seat, it’s been a hell of a two years. A lot of good things that got done, but ultimately, you want to win that ultimate prize.”

Wojnarowski first reported that Ham would be on the hot seat if the Lakers were quickly dispatched by the Nuggets, with multiple subsequent reports indicating that the 50-year-old’s job was in “serious peril.” On Thursday, Buha stated on The Athletic’s NBA Show podcast that Ham would likely be fired by the end of the week and perhaps sooner (hat tip to RealGM).

Ham had two years remaining on his contract, which reportedly paid him $5MM annually. He has “a lot of supporters throughout the NBA,” tweets Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com.

A two-time Coach of the Year with Atlanta and Milwaukee, Budenholzer won a championship with the Bucks in 2021. He was dismissed last summer following a first-round playoff exit.

Atkinson is another former head coach, having previously worked for Brooklyn. He backed out of Charlotte’s coaching vacancy a couple years ago after being offered the job.