May 18, 2024

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The Lakers’ coaching search can be a long process

The Lakers’ coaching search can be a long process

CHICAGO — Sunday’s NBA lottery results set the stage for early chatter regarding this upcoming season. Yes, 22 of the league’s 30 teams have been eliminated from championship contention, and the feeling of this ongoing week at the Draft Combine will make any observer believe the summer trade cycle has already begun.

Much of the actual non-draft activity on the floor at the Marriott Marquis — or the most fascinating part of that league-wide gathering on the Peninsula — actually consists of interviews and meetings related to front office and coaching changes. There are no trade packages going back and forth between teams. The Pistons’ ongoing search for a new president of basketball operations, the Lakers’ quest for their next head coach and the Wizards’ vacant head coaching position — plus several smaller turnovers, bench shifts, and new team strategy hires — are what’s really shaking up Chicago.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 02: ESPN analyst JJ Redick looks on before the game between the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center on March 2, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading or using this image, user agrees to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mitchell Liff/Getty Images)
JJ Redick has some commitments that could impact his coaching candidacy. (Photo by Mitchell Liff/Getty Images)

Los Angeles reportedly has a close relationship with 15-year NBA veteran JJ Redick, according to league numbers familiar with the situation. As a podcast and television analyst, Redick has pushed himself to the top of the ranks of coaching candidates, having met with Toronto last year and already with Charlotte this spring, before the Hornets hired Celtics assistant Charles Lee, sources said. Redick’s current commitment to ESPN regarding the network’s postseason schedule and NBA Finals roster has many coaching staffers under the impression that Los Angeles’ search could extend into June, allowing Redick to fulfill his final commitments after the network notably lost Doc Rivers from Same seat. This season when he joined Milwaukee.

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James Borrego has been widely rated by NBA figures as the experienced veteran to nominate Redick, while the Lakers are also known to be considering Kenny Atkinson, Chris Quinn, David Adelman and Mika Nouri, as well as Sam Cassel, sources said. Borrego manned the sidelines in Charlotte for four seasons and helped oversee New Orleans’ improved offense this year. This is the same franchise where Borrego was an assistant with the then-Hornets, when Anthony Davis was drafted first overall by New Orleans, and the two have maintained a relationship ever since. The search in Los Angeles revolves around finding the perfect coach for Davis’ long-term future with the Lakers after LeBron’s final few seasons in the league.

The outcome of the Lakers’ process, and the rest of this unfolding coaching cycle — which has already included paychecks for Jason Kidd and new Suns coach Mike Budenholzer — will also provide additional context for Mike Brown’s contract extension talks in Sacramento. With the Browns’ credentials as coach of the year and the new benchmarks for coaching salaries after Monty Williams got $70 million from Detroit and Budenholzer’s $10 million average annual salary, the Browns’ talks are expected to center around a similar eight-figure threshold as well. Sources told Yahoo Sports. Tom Thibodeau’s extension number in New York is expected to end up in the same ballpark, sources said.