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It’s Official: Redick to Replace Ham as Laker Head Coach

Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

After a roller-coaster search process, the Los Angeles Lakers finally have a new head coach to replace the fired Darvin Ham. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, it will be JJ Redick on a four-year deal. It’s been a long process for the Lakers, but Redick has seemed to be one of the leading candidates throughout. This news was always unlikely to come until after the NBA Finals had concluded, as Redick was covering the finals for ESPN.

The Lakers were known to have had interest in many others – including James Borrego, who according to reports met with the Lakers front office twice and was also a leading candidate for the role. Micah Nori, David Adelman, and Sam Cassell are all NBA assistant coaches (Cassell for the team that recently won the Finals) who received attention in the search as well.

One key factor that has stood out throughout the process is the Lakers’ vision for the future – especially in developing their young players. The Lakers also tried to pull off a move for back-to-back NCAA National Champion and Connecticut head coach Dan Hurley, but Hurley rejected the Lakers’ 6-year $70 million offer and opted to stay at UConn.

Part of the reason for the pursuit of Dan Hurley was to build up a team with strong talent development in LA, similar to what he accomplished at UConn. The Lakers must feel that Redick can help build that kind of organization. They at least seem set on having a coach who can develop players, and are looking not just for the present but for the future – after LeBron James – in order to keep competing.

Photo/Mind the Game Podcast

In terms of what happens next, the NBA draft is less than a week away. The Lakers and Redick will need to decide what they want to do with their two picks (#17 and #55) and how they want to build the roster for next season. Redick will also have to fill out his staff.

According to reports, the Lakers want Redick to be surrounded with experience to help shorten the learning curve in his first head coaching role. Although Redick has a lack of coaching experience, the potential can’t be denied. We’ve seen him demonstrate his knowledge of the game on his numerous podcasts, including one with LeBron James.

However, as the Lakers are trying to win now, the lack of coaching experience does certainly raise questions. But he is now the coach, and if Redick is surrounded with the right staff and is given time, it could be a good hire for the Lakers in the long term.

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