Lakers, JJ Redick agree to 4-year deal to become next head coach: Sources

The Los Angeles Lakers and JJ Redick have agreed to a four-year deal to make the 39-year-old former NBA player the team’s new head coach, team sources said Thursday.

The contract is in the neighborhood of $8 million per season, according to sources briefed on the deal.

The Lakers zeroed in on Redick over the past four weeks, with team leadership and Redick meeting on Saturday to discuss the position. During meetings with Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka, and his visit with Lakers ownership, Redick showed promise, team sources said.

GO DEEPER Inside the Lakers’ decision to hire JJ Redick and how he shapes their future

He was considered the front-runner in league circles for most of the coaching search, which was ongoing since Los Angeles fired Darvin Ham in May after two seasons.

Redick’s status as the front-runner for the job briefly changed when Connecticut coach Dan Hurley and the Lakers expressed mutual interest before Hurley interviewed in Los Angeles. He rejected the Lakers’ six-year, $70 million offer last week, according to team and league sources.

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The Lakers’ brass then regrouped and circled back to candidates, including Redick, according to team and league sources. The ESPN commentator and podcaster previously met with Pelinka for nearly two hours the week of May 13 at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.

Redick worked on the broadcast for the NBA Finals, which ended Monday when the Boston Celtics defeated the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5.

New Orleans Pelicans associate head coach James Borrego was the other central candidate over the past few weeks. Borrego met with Pelinka in Los Angeles on May 20 for over two hours. He also met with Lakers stakeholders at the team’s practice facility on May 29. Anthony Davis and Borrego, who overlapped briefly in New Orleans, re-established their rapport recently. Yahoo previously reported that Borrego was also advancing in the head-coaching search with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Lakers were high on Redick’s potential and viewed the 15-year NBA veteran as a Pat Riley-like coaching prospect, according to league sources. Redick checked many of the boxes for the Lakers as they searched for their next coach.

Redick has yet to coach above the youth level. He’s the most forward-facing of the candidates given his high-profile playing career, run as a media personality and his recent “Mind the Game” podcast with LeBron James. Nevertheless, James made it known he was staying out of the team’s coaching search, according to people involved in the matter.

The coaching hire is pivotal as Los Angeles hopes to retain James, who must decide whether to exercise his $51.4 million player option for the 2024-25 season by June 29. The Lakers are open to any contract structure that will keep James in Los Angeles, league sources said.

Redick spent 15 seasons in the NBA with six teams, most notably the Orlando Magic and LA Clippers. A renowned shooter, he posted a career average of 12.8 points per game with 41.5 percent 3-point shooting, 44.7 percent from the field and 89.2 percent from the free-throw line.

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Where does Redick’s departure leave ESPN?

The good news for ESPN regarding Redick’s departure to the Lakers is that Mike Breen remains in the lead play-by-play chair. You are always working from strength when your top broadcast team has the best game-caller of his or her generation. But ESPN does not have any automatic moves right now when it comes to Redick’s replacement.

The network nuked its longtime crew of Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson and then Doc Rivers left for the Milwaukee Bucks in about the time it takes Noah Lyles to run the 100. It could have a third new combo in a little more than a year to start next season if it adds to Breen and Doris Burke. Health-willing, hopefully Breen, 63, continues into his 70s. But the analyst position is key. Any hire likely has to be either a youngish (in media years) high-profile former player or coach. One thing to keep an eye on — and this is just us spitballing — is how Dwayne Wade does as an Olympic basketball analyst for NBC in Paris. That’s someone who has the star power ESPN would theoretically be looking for as an NBA analyst. — Richard Deitsch, sports media writer

Shams Charania and Sam Amick contributed to this report.

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(Photo: Jamie Schwaberow / Getty Images)

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