With Dan Hurley staying at UConn, where will LeBron James and the Lakers go from here?

Dan Hurley has turned down the Lakers’ head coaching job to remain the head coach at UConn, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. So, who should be the Lakers’ top coaching target in the future? Will LeBron James still be a Laker next season? Our NBA writers weigh in.

Vincent Goodwill: If you think you’re going to leave UConn for this circus, and a dead-end job at that, I have some beachfront property in Detroit to sell you – in December. Now, does this mean that Hurley is alive? No one can tell. He could draft Brad Stevens when no one thinks he’ll let go of Butler, and the leaked number indicates where the team closer to home should start their bidding.

Jake Fisher: Much of the talk around the training industry has been that Hurley’s family’s deep ties to the East Coast would be too strong for him to eventually escape a budding dynasty to California. The fact that the Lakers didn’t make an offer to the Godfather — the aforementioned six years, $70 million isn’t very impressive compared to someone who’s already making a lot of money — likely isn’t enough to change his circumstances.

GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 08: Head coach Dan Hurley of the Connecticut Huskies points to his players during the College Basketball National 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 will return to UConn and shoot for a three-peat. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Ben Rohrbach: Not surprised. It’s a dead-end party in the NBA, tied to 40-year-old LeBron James, who is owed more than $50 million next season. He doesn’t get any better in a Western Conference that includes Nikola Jokic, Luka Doncic, Anthony Edwards and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The Lakers have gone 123-123 over the past three seasons. Hurley’s success in Los Angeles was an appearance in the Western Conference Finals, the same as Darvin Hamm achieved. Success for him at UConn could mean history, and it turns out the money between the two options isn’t much different.

Kristin Beck: Hurley turned down the head coaching job at Kentucky and a lucrative deal with the Lakers, all in the same offseason. He also had Alex Karaban, one of his best players, back for his junior year, and if that wasn’t enough, the Huskies are bringing in a top-10 recruiting class led by Five stars Liam McNealy. Hurley’s return is a huge win for college basketball, and no matter how close the decision was either way, he made the right move to return to Storrs.

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Dan Titus: Smart move. Why get involved in Lakers chaos when they’re on their way to making history as the first team since UCLA in the late 1960s and early 1970s to win three consecutive national championships? Although the offer was tempting, he had all the leverage to allow UConn to back the Brinks truck.

Dan Devine: Congratulations to Dan Hurley on what I imagine will be a huge, huge raise from the University of Connecticut. And of course for everyone who found a way to occupy themselves over the weekend between Games 1 and 2.

Fisher: This always seemed like a job JJ Redick would lose. The Lakers, by various accounts, are fascinated by the similarities between Pat Riley once being pulled from the announcer’s booth before he began a legendary coaching career and the players. He clearly has a connection with LeBron James, and a real desire to get on the sidelines.

Glance: JJ Reddick gets my vote. That’s been the narrative behind the scenes all along, and whether or not Hurley’s interest was just smoke due to Riddick’s current role as an in-game analyst for the NBA Finals, he’s now viewed as a secondary option, and I think for the best. Suitable for the job.

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Devin: With the caveat that training success is much more about 99% of the job we do no Look at what we do with 1% play calls, rotation management, timeout usage, etc.:

If the idea is to find someone with experience and a reputation as a creative offensive mind who has had a hand in building productive, efficient, winning units on that side of the ball… perhaps David Adelman, off the Nuggets staff? After all, the Lakers have gotten an up-close-and-personal look at how effective Denver’s offensive scheme has been over the past two years. Or maybe Sam Cassel, once the Celtics’ season is over? Few assistants in the league are as widely respected as Cassell, whose bona fides include a remarkable 15-year playing career that included three NBA titles, followed by 15 years as an assistant, with long stints as Doc Rivers’ lead assistant before linking up with Joe. Mazzola talks about what could soon be a championship-winning Celtics team.

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If that fails: Maybe I’ll see if Frank Vogel is interested. Certified tournament coaches are hard to find, you know?

Titus: She looks like JJ or Bust. If Redick succeeds, an experienced assistant would likely face similar pressures to those faced by Darvin Hamm and Frank Vogel.

Rohrbach: I think JJ Redick? He was at the top of their list before the Hurley news storm. I don’t claim to know who can turn the Lakers into a serious contender, but I do know this: Whoever it is should demand the same six-year, $70 million offer the Lakers reportedly made to Hurley.

good intention: Who the hell knows? Some people in the league feel like JJ Redick won’t want to be part of this circus, that he won’t want to be a second option, but he wants to coach. The Lakers seem very intrigued by him for whatever reason and the focus will seamlessly shift to him. Because who else? The training session is almost over, and Redick is doing a podcast with… LeBron James.

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

LeBron James has a player option with the Lakers. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrell)

Glance: fact. The James family feels very comfortable in Los Angeles, and LeBron himself has said he’s happy as a Laker. The stars are lining up for his son, Bronny, to join him in Laker purple and gold as the first father-son duo to share the court in NBA history with the Lakers holding the 17th and 55th picks in the draft. LeBron’s youngest son, Bryce, will be a senior at Sierra Canyon High School and it doesn’t make sense to uproot the family and move elsewhere when he approaches retirement.

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Devin: fact. He’s spent the better part of the last decade relocating every aspect of his professional and personal life to Los Angeles, and I don’t think he’ll suddenly decide he’s going to opt out of Joel Embiid’s team, or anything else. I think LeBron will remain 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.

good intention: fact. Because where will he go? Does he want to win or cash out the biggest payday? Is he exerting his greatest influence or playing with his son? They’re all conflicting agendas and the easiest and cleanest way to get them all done is to stay in Los Angeles with the Lakers. Who would clear $50 million of cap space if James were to actually arrive at their door? Those wheels need to be in motion now, and there’s been little grumbling about it. Of course, he could do anything, he could leave. But he won’t do that.

Rohrbach: fact. Going elsewhere would almost certainly mean a significant pay cut. Besides, James seems to be in complete control of the Lakers. They may also hire the podcast co-host to be their next head coach. They will almost certainly draft his son, Bronny, if he is available with the 55th pick. They will give him a monster extension this summer. His business, home, and family are in Los Angeles. What else about chasing the ring as a third member of a current rival would make sense?

Fisher: fact. There is no other logical landing point for beginners. James isn’t taking the minimum to join Phoenix or abandoning ship in hopes that Joel Embiid can stay healthy through the postseason. Will he sign in Detroit? Orlando? Let’s go.

Titus: fact. LeBron’s personal life and business endeavors appear to be rooted in Los Angeles. Bronny’s landing spot could change things in the future, but the Lakers will pay LeBron whatever he wants to stay in this season. He’s one of the few players in NBA history to have his jersey retired by three teams, and I can’t imagine he’d want to join another team Just Until now.

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