A Leading Coaching Candidate Emerges Following Dan Hurley Letdown

The latest reporting suggests that there is a new frontrunner for the Lakers head coaching vacancy.
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers went back to the drawing board in their coaching search after UConn head coach Dan Hurley rejected their offer earlier in the week. Despite more than doubling his salary, the Lakers failed to lure Hurley away from his pursuit of a three-peat in Connecticut.

Now, Lakers fans await the announcement of their next head coach. With only two weeks left until the NBA Draft, it is of utmost importance for the team to have their coach in place before they make a decision leading up to the start of free agency.

As the Lakers' top brass evaluates the candidates, one name has gained momentum over the last week. The New Orleans Pelicans assistant James Borrego is seen as "a leading candidate", according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

"Borrego has also been categorized by league personnel as a leading candidate for the Lakers’ head coaching job, although Los Angeles’ search has been muddied by an unsuccessful pursuit of UConn head coach Dan Hurley."

Jake Fischer, Yahoo Sports

Borrego, along with JJ Redick, has been the most commonly mentioned name to be the next coach of the Lakers. The 46-year-old has 15 years of assistant coaching and four seasons of head coaching experience. A former assistant under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio and current assistant under Willie Green in New Orleans, Borrego has a significant experience advantage over Redick.

One complication is the fact that Borrego is also on the shortlist of head coaching candidates for the Cleveland Cavaliers. If the Lakers want Borrego, they need to act quickly and make him an offer he can't refuse. The Cavs, with their talented young core that just made the conference semifinals, are an attractive team for any head coach.

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