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Lakers zeroing in on JJ Redick as front-runner to be next coach: Sources

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Lakers zeroing in on JJ Redick as front-runner to be next coach: Sources


The Los Angeles Lakers are zeroing in on JJ Redick as the front-runner to be the franchise’s next head coach, league and media industry sources told The Athletic.

No final decision has been made yet, and the Lakers still have steps remaining in their head-coaching search process, league sources said. But the indications are strong that Redick is their leading choice at this stage.

The Lakers’ search has been seriously focused on two candidates — Redick and Pelicans associate head coach James Borrego — over the last couple of weeks, league sources said.

Redick was the first candidate to have a face-to-face meeting with the Lakers three weeks ago, and Borrego did an in-person interview with Lakers officials for a second time last week and the franchise has been impressed with him during the process, according to team sources. Anthony Davis and Borrego, who overlapped briefly in New Orleans, have also built a rapport recently.

Redick, a media analyst, is serving as a color commentator for the NBA Finals, which start Thursday night in Boston, fueling belief around the NBA that a potential hiring would officially take place and be announced after the series.

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The Lakers have had interviews with several other candidates as well, including Celtics assistant Sam Cassell, Heat assistant Chris Quinn, Timberwolves assistant Micah Nori and Nuggets assistant David Adelman.

Multiple sources briefed on the matter said one person who has become a respected unofficial resource for the Lakers during the process is legendary former Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, whose deep knowledge of candidates, such as Redick and others, provides a lens into the culture the organization wants and the characteristics of a potential staff around the next head coach.

Krzyzewski’s history with the Lakers goes back to 2004 when Dr. Jerry Buss made a strong yet unsuccessful offer to hire Coach K. Redick played for Krzyzewski at Duke from 2002 to 2006.

The Lakers have been seeking a coach who has the potential and staying power to be their head man for now and the long-term, as someone who will command the locker room and hold players accountable, as well as tirelessly gameplan and provide a level of structure and organization, according to those sources. It’s believed the franchise views Redick as the candidate who can check those boxes, those sources said.

Sources have described Lakers officials as “infatuated” with Redick and his potential as a 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 has made it known that he is staying out of the team’s coaching search, according to people involved in the matter.

Redick played 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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(Photo: Evan Yu / NBAE via Getty Images)



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