In a stunner, Lakers set to pursue UConn's Dan Hurley for head coaching position

The Lakers are planning to offer their head coaching position to UConn coach Dan Hurley, according to people with knowledge of the team’s plans but not authorized to speak publicly.

The sides are expected to have increased discussions in the upcoming days, with the Lakers highly motivated to try to lure Hurley from college basketball.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the news early Thursday morning, sending a shock wave through not just the league, but also through the Lakers’ own building.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever been more shocked,” one high-ranking official said.

For weeks, the external expectations have been that the Lakers would eventually target former NBA player and current broadcaster JJ Redick as the team’s next coach.

Internally at the top, though, that assessment was met with talk of a wide-open process, with some dismissing the Redick speculation as just “noise.”

That insistence, it turned out, was accurate.

The internal/external dynamic has left many people confused as to the Lakers’ path, which general manager Rob Pelinka and owner Jeanie Buss have traveled in relative secrecy.

In Hurley, the Lakers are hoping to find a program builder, an experienced winner with a track record of development. Team insiders have had long-term aspirations for their next coach since the first days of their search.

Hurley won the last two NCAA tournaments for UConn — an incredible feat in modern college basketball, with the Huskies being the third back-to-back champions since 1990, including Mike Krzyzewski’s two titles in 1991 and 1992 with Duke.

The Lakers famously tried, and failed, to hire Krzyzewski in 2004.

The team held formal on-site interviews with New Orleans lead assistant James Borrego last week and have spoken to a pool of candidates in less formal ways — a list that includes Redick and top assistants around the league like Boston’s Sam Cassell, Minnesota’s Micah Nori and Denver’s David Adelman.

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