Report – NBC Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly want to make a back-to-back national champion their next head coach.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday morning that the NBA franchise is preparing a “massive, long-term” contract offer for UConn’s Dan Hurley.

The Lakers have had preliminary talks with Hurley and the two sides are planning to have larger conversations in the coming days, Wojnarowski reported.

Hurley, the son of Naismith Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley Sr., became the Huskies’ head coach in 2018 and has brought the program to the mountaintop in his six-year tenure.

The team has made four straight NCAA Tournament appearances and won the 2023 and 2024 national titles with dominant March Madness runs.

With a title game win over Purdue in April, UConn became the first team to successfully defend a national title since the Florida Gators in 2006 and 2007.

Prior to taking the helm at UConn, Hurley was a high school coach at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, New Jersey, before taking head coaching positions at Wagner (2010-12) and Rhode Island (2012-18).

Former NBA player and current ESPN analyst J.J. Redick, New Orleans Pelicans assistant head coach James Borrego, Boston Celtics assistant coach Sam Cassell and Denver Nuggets assistant head coach David Adelman have already interviewed for the Lakers’ head coach opening.

Wojnarowski reported that Hurley has been “at the forefront” of the Lakers’ search from the beginning, even though they have done “due diligence” with other candidates.

The Lakers fired head coach Darvin Ham on May 3.

Ham held the job for just two seasons, both of which ended with playoff defeats against the Denver Nuggets.

The team went 47-35 in the regular season, earned the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference through the NBA Play-In Tournament and fell to the Nuggets in a five-game series in the first round.

Hurley has already earned the stamp of approval from one Lakers star.

LeBron James raved about Hurley in a social media post on April 19, saying, “He’s so DAMN GOOD!!! Along with his staff. Super creative with their O! Love it.”

On top of the NBA significance, the Lakers hiring Hurley would send shockwaves throughout college basketball.

Hurley inked a six-year contract with UConn months after his first national championship in 2023.

If Hurley were to leave Storrs, UConn would then begin a coaching search months after several major college coaching changes, including John Calipari heading to Arkansas and Mark Pope replacing Calipari at Kentucky.

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