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#pounditWednesday, July 17, 2024

Lakers seemingly deciding between 2 head coach candidates

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

There have been numerous reports in recent days that the Los Angeles Lakers are planning to hire JJ Redick as their next head coach, but there is one other candidate that appears to still be in the mix.

New Orleans Pelicans assistant coach James Borrego has been Redick’s “primary competition” over the past two weeks, according to a story that was published by Jovan Buha of The Athletic on Wednesday. Borrego met with Lakers executives last week and has impressed the team throughout the interview process.

Borrego has one thing that Redick does not have — experience. The 46-year-old was the head coach of the Charlotte Hornets for four seasons before he joined the Pelicans as an assistant this past year. Borrego began his NBA coaching career as an assistant under Gregg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs from 2003-2010. He was with the Spurs when they won championships in 2005 and 2007.

Anthony Davis is familiar with Borrego, as Borrego left his assistant coaching job with the Hornets in 2012 just before the team drafted Davis. While the two have never formally worked together, Davis is said to think highly of Borrego.

Even if Redick gets the Lakers job over Borrego, Buha believes L.A. would want Borrego to join Redick’s staff as an assistant. It is unclear if Borrego is open to that arrangement.

It is possible that the Lakers are merely waiting for the NBA Finals to conclude before formally hiring Redick, who is covering the series as an analyst for ESPN. All signs have pointed to Redick getting the job, even if nothing has been made official yet.

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