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Surprising new report surfaces about Lakers’ pursuit of Dan Hurley

Dan Hurley yelling

Feb 26, 2020; Hartford, Connecticut, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Dan Hurley watches from the sideline as they take on the UCF Knights in the second half at XL Center. UConn defeated UCF 81-65. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers recently made an unsuccessful push to hire Dan Hurley as their next head coach, and there now is some conflicting information about when the pursuit of the two-time national champion began.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported last Thursday that the Lakers were in discussions with Hurley about potentially signing the UConn coach to a deal. Woj also said that Hurley had “been at the forefront of the Lakers’ search from the beginning of the process.”

Shams Charania of The Athletic shared some new information on Tuesday that did not mesh with what Wojnaorwski reported. According to Charania, Hurley was “not the No. 1 candidate to go pursue from the start.” Charania says the Lakers “felt like there was an opening” to try to hire Hurley while Hurley was seeking a raise from UConn.

“He was discussing a deal to go back, and they felt like there was an opening,” Charania said.

While nothing has been announced with regard to Hurley signing an extension with the Huskies, Charania says the 51-year-old coach could have made $20 million more if he signed with the Lakers.

Wojnarowski and Charania cannot both be right, and they are obviously getting their information from different sources. Shams has said for a while now that JJ Redick is the front-runner to be named the next head coach of the Lakers. He is not backing down from that.

One line of thinking is that Hurley used the Lakers for leverage in contract talks with UConn. All we really know is that Hurley turned down a significant offer from L.A., even if he was leaning toward sticking with the Huskies all along.

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