June 14, 2024

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Sources – Lakers are preparing a huge offer for UConn’s Dan Hurley

Sources – Lakers are preparing a huge offer for UConn’s Dan Hurley

The Los Angeles Lakers are targeting UConn men’s basketball coach Dan Hurley as the franchise’s next coach and are preparing a massive long-term contract offer to bring the back-to-back NCAA national champions to the NBA, sources told ESPN.

The Lakers have made initial contact with Hurley and the two sides plan to escalate discussions in the coming days, sources told ESPN. Sources said Hurley was at the forefront of the Lakers’ search from the beginning of the process, even while the organization did its due diligence by interviewing several other candidates.

Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka and governor Jeanie Buss are looking forward to formally discussing with Hurley their vision for marrying his dominant program — built on his tactical acumen and developing elite players — with the iconic Lakers brand, sources said. He said.

Hurley, 51, has often described his ambition to one day coach in the NBA and expressed to the Lakers his desire to explore the full picture of a partnership with one of the best franchises in basketball, sources said.

Hurley’s pursuit comes on the 20th anniversary of the Lakers’ attempt to hire then-Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski to a record contract in 2004. Krzyzewski chose to stay with the Blue Devils, but the climate has changed dramatically in college athletics. The NIL’s fundraising demands for non-powerhouse football schools like UConn are a particularly relentless grind — and they’re expected to get even tougher.

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As for the Lakers’ stars, LeBron James was impressed with Hurley’s advanced offensive moves. Assuming James returns to Los Angeles in free agency, the possibility of using the 55th overall pick in this month’s NBA draft on USC rookie guard Bronny James makes Hurley an even more intriguing candidate. If that happens, James will get the chance to play with his son and Hurley and his staff will benefit from becoming responsible for Bronny’s professional development.

In a social media post in response to a podcast interview with JJ Reddick, James posted on X about Hurley: “He’s so good!!! Along with his staff. Very creative with their team.” [offense]. Love her.”

The Lakers are committed to making NBA forward Anthony Davis an important part of the conversation about the next coach and want to make sure he aligns with how the new coach plans to project him on offense and defense, sources said.

The Lakers have conducted several interviews with other candidates, including Charlotte Hornets assistant James Borrego, Redick, Boston Celtics assistant Sam Cassell and Denver Nuggets assistant David Adelman, sources said. The Lakers have continued talks with other candidates over the past few weeks, but the possibility of Hurley landing was the focus of the Lakers’ consideration, sources said.

Part of Hurley’s appeal is the changing landscape of NBA roster construction under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Due to the limitations on roster construction in the new second arena, the ability of large market teams to build competing rosters by trading multiple draft picks and young players for a third star player has been largely eliminated. In addition to the 17th overall pick in this month’s draft, the Lakers have a young core of Austin Reeves, Rui Hachimura and Max Christie who management believes can still show greater improvement under Hurley’s coaching, sources said.

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Having historically dominated back-to-back national title seasons, Hurley has emerged as the most popular coach in the sport — and the prospect of UConn and the Big East Conference leaving the Lakers has huge implications for both college basketball and the NBA. . Hurley has built a juggernaut that has conquered the sport — culminating with the first repeat NCAA champion in 17 years and a championship performance that produced the largest point differential in tournament history: 140 points.

The possibility of UConn winning a third straight title looms with the return of a preseason top-five team, but the Huskies lost two lottery picks (center Donovan Clingan and guard Stephon Cassel) and a first-team All-America guard (Tristan Newton) to the NBA draft.

The Lakers fired coach Darvin Ham after exiting in the first round in the Western Conference playoffs. The Hamms were 94-70 in two seasons — including a trip to the Western Conference Finals in 2023.

Hurley is 141-58 (.709) in six seasons as UConn’s coach — and holds the NCAA tournament record of 12 straight double-digit wins. The son of Naismith Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley Sr. — for whom Hurley played at the famed St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, New Jersey — Dan Hurley spent nine years as a high school coach at St. Benedict Prep before that. Rapidly rebuilding college programs at Wagner and Rhode Island. His older brother, Bobby, is the head coach at Arizona State.