Lucas Dufeal

Pacific Notes: Hurley, Lakers, Kings, Suns

Appearing on the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (YouTube link), Dan Hurley said he didn’t use talks with the Lakers as leverage to secure a larger financial commitment from UConn, as Adam Zagoria of relays. Hurley reportedly turned down a six-year, $70MM deal from L.A. and will receive about $20MM less in his new contract with the Huskies, which will be announced “soon,” a source told Zagoria.

This was never a leverage situation for me,” Hurley said Thursday. “I’ve had a contract situation in place for a couple of weeks, and the financial part in terms of salary has been done for a while. There’s some other parts like NIL and staff salaries and some different things that I want adjusted that I’m not comfortable with.

But the sense or the idea that this was just a conspiracy to get me a sweeter deal at UConn is just lazy and not [true]. It was truly a gut-wrenching decision for me because I was really — Sunday night going into Monday where I had kind of a deadline in my mind — I was like torn and I didn’t know really what I was going to do until I went to bed.”

However, Hurley did suggest the Lakers could have compelled him to leave UConn with a more lucrative offer.

To leave all that behind, there probably is a number,” Hurley said. “I don’t know what that is.”

J.J. Redick, who was previously viewed as the frontrunner in the Lakers’ head coaching search before Hurley’s surprising emergence, will formally interview for the position this weekend, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Here’s more from the Pacific:

NBA Announces Initial Early Entrant List For 2024 Draft

The NBA has officially released the initial list of early entrants for the 2024 NBA draft, announcing in a press release that 195 players have filed as early entry candidates. Of those prospects, 138 are from colleges, 43 had been playing for teams internationally, and 14 were playing non-college ball stateside (ie. the G League or Overtime Elite).

While that early entrant total obviously far exceeds the number of players who will be selected in this year’s draft (58), it’s down significantly from the figures we’ve seen in recent years. A record 353 early entrants initially declared for the draft in 2021, but that number dropped to 283 in 2022 and 242 a year ago. The NCAA’s NIL policy, which allows college athletes to be paid based on their name, image, and likeness, has presumably been a major factor in that trend.

This year’s total of 195 early entrants figures to decline significantly by May 29 and again by June 16, the two deadlines for players to withdraw their names from the draft pool. But it’s still likely that the eventual number of early entrants will exceed 58 players. That group will join the college seniors with no remaining eligibility and other automatically eligible players in this year’s draft pool.

Our tracker of early entrants for the 2024 draft is fully up to date and can be found right here.

Here are the changes we made to our tracker today:

Newly added players

College players:

These players either didn’t publicly announce that they were entering the draft or we simply missed it when they did.

International players:

These players weren’t previously mentioned on our list of international early entrants. The country listed here indicates where they last played, not necessarily where they were born.

Other players:

  • Abdullah Ahmed, C, Westchester Knicks (born 2003)
  • Somto Cyril, C, Overtime Elite (born 2005)
  • Reynan Dos Santos, G, Overtime Elite (born 2004)
  • Djordjije Jovanovic, F, Ontario Clippers (born 2003)
  • Jalen Lewis, F/C, Overtime Elite (born 2005)
  • Malique Lewis, F, Mexico City Capitanes (born 2004)
  • Babacar Sane, F, G League Ignite (born 2003)

Players removed

Despite reports or announcements that the players below would declare for the draft, they didn’t show up on the NBA’s official list.

That could mean a number of things — they may have decided against entering the draft; they may have entered the draft, then withdrawn; they may have had no NCAA eligibility remaining, making them automatically draft-eligible; they may have incorrectly filed their paperwork; or the NBA may have accidentally omitted some names.

It seems that last possibility is a real one, as Jonathan Givony of ESPN tweets that a “miscommunication or mishap’ at the league office may result in a dozen or more additional names being added to the NBA’s early entrant list.

We’ve still removed the following names from our early entrant list for the time being, but it sounds like some could be re-added soon.

Note: Some of these players may also be transferring to new schools.