Dan Hurley Emerges as Top Candidate for Lakers Coaching Job Amid LeBron James Speculation

Dan Hurley Emerges as Top Candidate for Lakers Coaching Job Amid LeBron James Speculation

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly in serious discussions with UConn’s Dan Hurley to fill their head coaching vacancy.

According to ESPN, the Lakers are in contact with Hurley and these discussions are expected to intensify in the coming days.

Sources, including ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, have indicated that Hurley, who has led the Connecticut Huskies to back-to-back NCAA championships, is at the forefront of the Lakers’ coaching search. The Lakers are preparing a substantial long-term offer to entice him.

Hurley’s Aspirations and Credentials

Hurley, who earns $5.3 million annually and is among the NCAA’s highest-paid coaches, has openly expressed his desire to coach in the NBA. At 51, his impressive track record includes a recent Naismith Coach of the Year award for the 2023-24 season.

His coaching career began at Wagner in 2010 and has since seen him rise through the ranks at Rhode Island and ultimately, UConn.

Over his 14-season career as a head coach, Hurley has amassed a record of 292-163, with six NCAA Tournament appearances and two conference titles.

LeBron James’ Endorsement

LeBron James, a pivotal figure for the Lakers, appears to be a fan of Hurley. In response to an April podcast interview between JJ Redick and Hurley, James praised the UConn coach on social media, stating, “He’s so DAMN GOOD!!! Along with his staff.

Super creative with their O! Love it.” This endorsement from James, who has considerable influence within the organization, could play a significant role in the Lakers’ decision-making process.

Other Candidates in Consideration

While Hurley is currently the frontrunner, the Lakers have also considered other candidates. JJ Redick, a former NBA player and podcast co-host with James, was previously seen as a favorite despite his lack of coaching experience.

Redick has already interviewed for the position, along with Charlotte Hornets assistant James Borrego, Boston Celtics assistant Sam Cassell, and Denver Nuggets assistant David Adelman.

However, Hurley’s established coaching credentials and James’ endorsement may give him an edge.

LeBron James’ Uncertain Future

LeBron James’ future with the Lakers remains uncertain, which adds another layer of complexity to the coaching search. James is under contract but holds a player option for the 2024-25 season, allowing him to become a free agent.

His son, Bronny James, is also an NBA prospect in this month’s draft. LeBron has expressed a desire to play alongside his son before retiring, which could influence his decision to stay with the Lakers or move to another team.

Lakers’ Draft Strategy and Bronny James

The Lakers have a strategic opportunity to draft Bronny James, especially after the New Orleans Pelicans deferred their right to the No. 17 pick in favor of the Lakers’ first-round selection in 2025.

If the Lakers use their pick on Bronny, it could incentivize LeBron to remain in Los Angeles. However, this plan carries risks, as the Phoenix Suns are also considering drafting Bronny with their No. 22 pick, potentially to lure LeBron to their team.

Phoenix Suns’ Interest in LeBron James

The Suns’ interest in LeBron James is significant, given their potential to create a superteam with Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal.

NBA Insider Evan Sidery has reported that the Suns view drafting Bronny as a strategy to attract LeBron.

Additionally, LeBron has several connections with the Suns, including assistant coach David Fizdale, GM James Jones, and his Team USA experience with Booker and Durant.

Financial Considerations and Future Prospects

Despite the allure of joining the Suns, LeBron would face financial sacrifices. Opting out of his current deal and signing a veteran’s minimum contract with the Suns would mean forfeiting approximately $50 million, given the Suns are $100 million over the salary cap.

This significant financial consideration makes the decision more complex.


The Lakers’ pursuit of Dan Hurley represents a pivotal moment for the franchise as they seek to solidify their coaching staff and address the future of LeBron James.

Hurley’s potential transition from NCAA success to the NBA, combined with LeBron’s uncertain future, sets the stage for a transformative period for the Lakers.

The coming days will be crucial as discussions with Hurley progress and the Lakers finalize their strategy for the upcoming season and beyond.

TDPel Media

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