What will LeBron James do now that Dan Hurley has stayed at UConn and the Lakers?

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that Dan Hurley has declined the Lakers’ coaching position to remain as the head coach at UConn. So, who is the Lakers’ best coaching target for the future? Will LeBron be a Laker again next season? Our NBA writers weigh-in.


Vincent Goodwill If you thought he was leaving UConn for that circus, and a dead-end job at that, I have some beachfront property in Detroit to sell you — in December. Does this mean Hurley will be around for the rest of his life? Nobody knows. He could pull a Brad Stevens and bid higher than the team closest to him.

Jake Fischer: Many in the coaching world believed that Hurley’s strong family ties to the East Coast would prevent him from leaving a budding dynasty to move to California. The fact that the Lakers did not put forth a godfather offer — the reported six years, $70 million isn’t so staggering compared to someone who’s already making plenty of money — likely wasn’t going to be enough to change his circumstances.

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - APRIL 08:  Head coach Dan Hurley of the Connecticut Huskies signals to his players during the National College Basketball Championship game against the Purdue Boilermakers at State Farm Stadium on April 08, 2024 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)GLENDALE, ARIZONA - APRIL 08:  Head coach Dan Hurley of the Connecticut Huskies signals to his players during the National College Basketball Championship game against the Purdue Boilermakers at State Farm Stadium on April 08, 2024 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Dan Hurley is returning to UConn for a chance at a triple-peat. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images).

Ben Rohrbach: Unsurprised. It is a dead end NBA gig tied to a 40 year old LeBron James who is owed over $50 million next season. He is not improving in a Western Conference that boasts Nikola Jokić, Luka Dončić, Anthony Edwards and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The Lakers are 123 – 123 in the last three seasons. Hurley’s success in Los Angeles would have meant a Western Conference Finals appearance, just as Darvin Ham achieved. He could have made history at UConn, and the money between both options was not much different.

Krysten Peek: Hurley turned down both the head coaching position at Kentucky and the lucrative Lakers deal in the same offseason. He also got Alex Karaban back for his junior season, one his best players. If that wasn’t good enough, the Huskies have a top 10 recruit class led by five-star Liam McNeeley. Hurley’s return is a huge victory for college basketball. No matter how close his decision was, he made a good choice to return to Storrs.

Dan Titus Smart move. Why get caught up in the Lakers’ mess when you are on the path to making history by becoming the first national champions since UCLA in late ’60s/early ’70? Although the offer was tempting, he had the leverage necessary to convince UConn that they should back up the Brinks vehicle.

Dan Devine Dan Hurley, I’m sure you will receive a massive, huge raise from the University of Connecticut. I’d like to thank everyone who was able to find something to do between Games 1 and 2 over the weekend.


Fischer: This job has always felt like J.J. Redick’s to lose. The Lakers are, according to different reports, enamored with the similarities between Pat Riley’s legendary career in coaching and personnel, which began when he was pulled out of a television broadcaster’s chair. He clearly has a relationship with LeBron and a genuine desire to join the coaching staff.

Peek: J.J. Redick gets my vote. It’s the story behind the scene. And whether or not Redick was interested in the job because of his current role as an NBA Finals game analyst, he now appears to be the second choice and, I suppose, the best candidate.

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Devine: Coaching success is more about the 99% than the 1%. don’t See more than the 1% that we do in terms of play-calling. Rotation management, timeout usage etc.

If the idea is to find someone with experience and a reputation as a creative offensive mind who’s had a hand in building productive, efficient, winning units on that side of the ball … maybe David Adelman, off the Nuggets’ staff? After all, the Lakers have gotten an up-close-and-personal look at how effective Denver’s plan of attack is over the past couple of years. Sam Cassell? Or perhaps, after the Celtics’ season is over? Few assistants in the league are as well-respected as Cassell. His credentials include a 15-year playing tenure that included three NBA titles. He then spent 15 years as an Assistant, including long stints as Doc Rivers’ chief lieutenant, before joining Joe Mazzulla to form what could be a championship winning Celtics team.

If that fails, you could see if Frank Vogel is interested. You know, it’s hard to find a coach who has won championships.

Titus: It looks like JJ is either going to win or fail. If Redick passes on, it will likely be a senior assistant who faces pressure similar to Darvin Ham or Frank Vogel.

Rohrbach: J.J. Redick, anyone? He was at the top of their list before Hurley’s news storm. I don’t pretend to know who will turn the Lakers around, but I know this: whoever it is, they should demand the same six-year offer of $70 million that the Lakers reportedly made to Hurley.

Goodwill: Who the hell knows?! Some people in the league believe that J.J. Redick will not want to be a part of this circus and he won’t be a second option, but he is interested in coaching. The Lakers are very interested in him, for whatever reason, and the focus will easily shift to him. Who else? The coaching cycle is nearly over, and Redick does a podcast with … LeBron James.


Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James takes a rest on the court during the first half in Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets Saturday, April 27, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James takes a rest on the court during the first half in Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets Saturday, April 27, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

LeBron James is a Lakers player option. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Peek: Fact. LeBron has stated that he is happy to be a Laker. The James family feels very comfortable in Los Angeles. The stars are aligning to have his son Bronny join him on the court as the first father and son duo in NBA history. The Lakers hold the 17th and the 55th picks in the draft. Bryce will be a senior in Sierra Canyon High School when LeBron retires. It makes no sense to move the family to another state.

Devine: Fact. He’s spent a good part of the past decade moving his professional and private life to L.A. I don’t believe he will suddenly decide to opt out and, say, go team up Joel Embiid or whatever. I think LeBron’s going to be a Laker until he retires … which, given his current level of productivity, should come after he plays a season or two with Bronny’s son, LeBron III.

Goodwill: Fact. Where else is he going to? Will he win or do he want the biggest payday? Play with his son or exercise his greatest influence? All the agendas are in conflict, and the simplest, cleanest, way to achieve them all is to remain with the Lakers, in Los Angeles. Who will be able to clear $50 million of cap space if James really does show up hat and all at their door? These wheels would have to be in motion by now. There’s been little talk about it. He could leave, he COULD do anything. But he will not.

Rohrbach: Fact. A significant pay cut would almost certainly be involved if you were to move elsewhere. James appears to have total control over the Lakers. They could even hire the co-host of his podcast as their next coach. They will definitely draft his son Bronny if he becomes available at No. 55 pick. They will give him a monster contract extension this summer. His family, business and home are all located in L.A. So what else would make sense but to chase a ring with an existing contender as a tertiary?

Fischer: Fact. For starters, it is impossible to think of another logical destination. James isn’t taking the minimum to sign with Phoenix or abandoning his ship in hopes Joel Embiid will stay healthy during a postseason run. Is he resigning in Detroit? Orlando? C’mon.

Titus: Fact. LeBron appears to have a strong LA connection in his personal life and business. Bronny’s future move might change the landscape, but for now the Lakers will give LeBron any amount he wants in order to stay. He’s among the few NBA players whose jerseys will be retired by at least three teams. I don’t see him wanting to join another team. Just click here to learn more. yet.

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