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JJ Redick Contract: Lakers Hire Former NBA Player and ESPN Analyst as Head Coach

The Los Angeles Lakers have officially hired JJ Redick as their next head coach, according to reports from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Redick, a former NBA player and current ESPN analyst, will take the helm of one of the NBA’s most storied franchises on a four-year contract worth approximately $8 million per season.

Redick, 39, steps into his new role without any prior coaching experience at the professional or collegiate levels. Despite this, his extensive 15-year playing career and his reputation as a sharp basketball mind, honed through his popular podcast “The Old Man and the Three” and his analytical work with ESPN, have positioned him as a promising candidate.

The Lakers’ pursuit of Redick came after their attempt to hire UConn head coach Dan Hurley fell through. Hurley declined a six-year, $70 million offer to stay with UConn, leading the Lakers to refocus their efforts on Redick. This hire makes Redick the 27th head coach in Lakers franchise history and their eighth since the legendary Phil Jackson retired in 2011.

Redick’s playing career began when he was drafted 11th overall by the Orlando Magic in 2006 after a stellar college career at Duke University, where he became the Blue Devils’ all-time leading scorer. He went on to play for several NBA teams, including the Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, New Orleans Pelicans, Milwaukee Bucks, and Dallas Mavericks, before retiring in 2021.

Known for his exceptional three-point shooting, Redick finished his career with a 41.5% shooting percentage from beyond the arc. His basketball IQ and ability to connect with players were significant factors in Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka’s decision to hire him. Pelinka believes that surrounding Redick with an experienced coaching staff will help mitigate his lack of coaching experience.

The Lakers’ coaching search included several other candidates, such as James Borrego, Sam Cassell, Jared Dudley, and Rajon Rondo. However, Redick’s strong relationships within the basketball community, including with Lakers star LeBron James, who co-hosts the “Mind the Game” podcast with him, helped solidify his position as the top choice.

Despite having star players like James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers have struggled to meet expectations in recent seasons, only making it past the first round of the playoffs once since their championship win in 2020. Redick’s task will be to leverage his deep understanding of the game to elevate the team’s performance and develop young talents like Max Christie, Austin Reaves, and Rui Hachimura.

Redick’s contract places him among the top earners for NBA head coaches, on par with established names like Nick Nurse, Jason Kidd, Michael Malone, and Doc Rivers. As he prepares to lead the Lakers, Redick will need to navigate the upcoming NBA Draft and free agency period, ensuring that the team is well-positioned for success in the 2024 season and beyond.

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