Los Angeles Lakers hire JJ Redick as new head coach on 4-year contract: Report

The ESPN analyst appeared to be the favorite for the job all along

The Los Angeles Lakers ended weeks of speculation with a bold decision, hiring ESPN analyst JJ Redick as their new head coach on a four-year contract, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Redick, 39, becomes the next man to lead the Lakers despite having no coaching experience other than with his son's youth basketball team. However, he's demonstrated a deep knowledge of the NBA game as a studio and game analyst for ESPN during the past three seasons, in addition to the insight offered on his podcasts "The Old Man and the Three" and "Mind the Game," which he hosts with LeBron James.

Despite Redick's name being in the mix early in the search, UConn coach Dan Hurley emerged as a top candidate, ultimately turning down a six-year, $70 million deal to become the Lakers' next head coach.

The presumption had been that Redick had an inside track to the Lakers job because of his podcast partnership with James. Yet the Lakers star reportedly wasn't involved in the team's coaching search, believing that the organization needed to make a decision that could be significant beyond the two or three more seasons that James intends to play.

Team officials were reportedly extremely impressed with Redick after interviewing him, envisioning what he could be as a coach rather than what he's already accomplished, according to The Athletic.

"The Lakers are infatuated with Redick’s potential, according to league sources, viewing him as a Pat Riley-like coaching prospect who could both help the franchise in the short term and lead it for years. Riley, a nine-year NBA veteran as a player, was a broadcaster for the Lakers from 1977 to 1979 before making the leap to assistant coach in 1979 and then eventually head coach in 1981."

Whoever dropped Riley's name in discussing Redick surely knew what was being invoked. Riley established his coaching legend with the Lakers, winning four NBA championships during the "Showtime" era. He won another three as a coach and executive with the Miami Heat, with James winning his first two NBA titles under Riley's chosen successor, Erik Spoelstra.

Someone else who may have influenced the choice of Redick was his coach at Duke, Mike Krzyzewski. The winningest coach in men's college basketball history, who was offered the Lakers' head coach job himself in 2004, was an unofficial consultant during the team's search process, according to The Athletic.

The Lakers weren't the only team to consider Redick as a head coach. He interviewed with the Charlotte Hornets in April and reportedly talked to the Toronto Raptors for their opening last year.

Credibility with players shouldn't be an issue for Redick after a 15-year career in the NBA that included stints with the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, New Orleans Pelicans, Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks. He was the Magic's first-round pick (No. 11 overall) in the 2006 NBA Draft after a four-year career at Duke. As an NBA player, Redick averaged 12.5 points per game and shot 42% on 3-pointers.

Redick replaces Darvin Ham, who was fired after two seasons. The Lakers finished 47–35 during the regular season and earned the Western Conference's No. 7 seed in the NBA playoffs after defeating New Orleans in the play-in tournament. Los Angeles lost its first-round series with the Nuggets in five games. Under Ham, the Lakers went 90–74 in the regular season and advanced to the West finals in 2023-24, where they also lost to Denver.

Other reported candidates for the position included Pelicans associate head coach James Borrego, Boston Celtics assistant Sam Cassell and Denver Nuggets assistant David Adelman. Minnesota Timberwolves assistant Micah Nori and Chris Quinn from the Heat staff also reportedly interviewed with the Lakers.