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#pounditThursday, June 20, 2024

Report: 2-time NBA champion assistant a ‘name to watch’ for Lakers job

The Lakers logo at half court

Apr 22, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; The Los Angeles Lakers logo at center court during game three of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are casting a wide net in their search for a new head coach, and one notable assistant may be on their short list.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on “SportsCenter” Sunday that New Orleans Pelicans assistant James Borrego is one of the “names to watch” in the Lakers’ search. Woj said the Lakers are impressed with the work Borrego has done with Zion Williamson.

“They went from an offense (ranking 21-22) in the league last year to a top-10 offense, really found peak performance for Zion Williamson handling the ball and kind of handling that point-forward position,” Wojnarowski said. “Borrego had a good run as head coach in Charlotte, went from 23 to 33 to 44 wins there. He was obviously with Gregg Popovich for a long time in San Antonio. He’ll be a candidate in this process.”

The other name Wojnarowski mentioned was ESPN analyst JJ Redick. It has been reported that the Lakers have serious interest in the former sharpshooter.

Borrego was the head coach of the Charlotte Hornets for four seasons before he joined the Pelicans as an assistant this past year. Charlotte saw improvement under Borrego but missed the playoffs all four seasons.

Borrego began his NBA coaching career as an assistant under Gregg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs from 2003-2010. The 46-year-old was with the Spurs when they won championships in 2005 and 2007.

There has been some talk about the Lakers potentially bringing back one of their former head coaches, but it does not sound like that is going to happen.

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