Lakers to hire JJ Redick in 4-year deal as head coach

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Redick, who does not have previous head coaching experience, has reportedly begun work on building an experienced coaching staff

After 1½ months of searching, including a couple of twists, the Lakers have found their new head coach – a former player-turned-broadcaster who doesn’t have any previous head coaching experience.

The Lakers will hire JJ Redick as their new head coach, which was first reported by ESPN on Thursday, adding that Redick agreed to a four-year deal.

The 39-year-old former Duke star and 15-year NBA veteran will be the franchise’s seventh full-time head coach in 13 years (eighth including Bernie Bickerstaff’s five-game stint as interim coach in 2013) and 29th overall.

With the hiring of Redick, the Lakers are hoping to accomplish two things: build off the last two seasons when they made the playoffs, including the 2023 Western Conference finals, in what’s expected to be the final couple of seasons of the LeBron James-Anthony Davis era; and have a coach in place who can have a development-focused approach in the post-James era.

ESPN reported last week that Redick had the opportunity to “move him to the forefront” of the Lakers’ coaching search with a strong interview performance on Saturday.

That’s exactly what happened, and now the Lakers have their new coach.

The Lakers’ hiring of Redick came after the organization’s failed pursuit of UConn men’s coach Dan Hurley, who turned down the Lakers’ six-year, $70 million offer and returned to the Huskies. Redick was considered the frontrunner for the Lakers’ job before their pursuit of Hurley became public.

The Lakers hoped to hire a coach before the NBA’s June 26-27 draft. Redick met with Lakers VP and GM Rob Pelinka last month at the draft combine in Chicago before the more formal and thorough interview with Pelinka and Lakers governor Jeanie Buss last weekend.

Redick was a color commentator for ABC’s broadcast of the NBA Finals between the Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks.

Redick, who played in the NBA for 15 seasons (four with the Clippers) and retired in 2021, has no professional or college coaching experience, never coaching above the youth level.

But he has interviewed for multiple head-coaching vacancies recently: the Toronto Raptors’ last offseason, which went to Darko Rajaković, and the Charlotte Hornets this spring, with Boston lead assistant Charles Lee set to join the Hornets after the conclusion of the Celtics’ playoff run.

Redick became an analyst/broadcaster for ESPN immediately after retirement and has hosted podcasts since 2016, including, “The Old Man and the Three” which is part of the ThreeFourTwo Productions company he co-founded.

Notably, Redick has also been co-hosting a podcast, “Mind the Game”, with Lakers star LeBron James since March.
Even with the messaging being that the Lakers had long-term goals with this coaching hire, Redick will face immediate pressure to win. Former coach Darvin Ham lasted just two seasons despite leading the Lakers to the playoffs in back-to-back years: a conference finals appearance last year and a first-round exit against the Denver Nuggets earlier in the spring.

Redick will inherit a roster that could resemble the one that went 47-35 in 2023-24. Seven players from last year’s team have guaranteed deals for 2024-25, not including big man Christian Wood, who’s reportedly already opted into his player option for next season. James, D’Angelo Russell, Jaxson Hayes and Cam Reddish also have a June 29 deadline for their player options.

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