Dan Hurley addresses rumor Lakers lowballed him with contract offer

Some believe the Los Angeles Lakers lowballed Dan Hurley with their contract offer. Hurley appeared on The Dan Le Batard Show and addressed that rumor.
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament   - National Championship
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - National Championship / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

For several days, it appeared as though Dan Hurley was going to become the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Governor Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka met personally with Hurley to discuss his candidacy and made him an offer that has since become a nationwide talking point.

Although Hurley would've become the fifth-highest-paid coach in the NBA, some believe that the Lakers low-balled their top target.

Hurley ultimately declined the Lakers' offer of six years and $70 million. Had he accepted, only Steve Kerr, Gregg Popovich, Erik Spoelstra, and Monty Williams would've averaged a higher annual salary than Hurley, who has yet to coach an NBA game.

In an appearance on The Dan Le Batard Show, Hurley indirectly addressed the idea that the Lakers lowballed him with the offer of $70 million across six seasons.

It's worth noting that Hurley has been renegotiating his contract with the University of Connecticut since April, although he vehemently denies attempting to use the Lakers as leverage.

Hurley, 51, has led the Connecticut Huskies to back-to-back National Championships. In 2024-25, he'll look to help Connecticut become the first men's college basketball team to three-peat since John Wooden led the UCLA Bruins to titles in every season from 1967 to 1973.

Before he decided to return to UConn, however, Hurley was viewed as the perfect candidate to lead the Lakers to a championship of their own.

It's possible that the Lakers could've offered Hurley more, thus convincing him to join the franchise. Money is hardly an issue in Los Angeles, and it's understandable to see fans and pundits ask why Buss wasn't more willing to extend a larger offer.

True as that may be, it's important not to lose sight of the type of company that Hurley would've been keeping had he accepted the six-year, $70 million deal.

Three of the four coaches who would've averaged money more per season than Hurley have won at least two championships in the NBA: Popovich, Kerr, and Spoelstra. That decorated trio has combined for 11 titles and 18 NBA Finals appearances in their respective head coaching careers.

Hurley has dominated at the NCAA level but has yet to gain experience in the NBA. By paying him more than he was offered, the Lakers would've had him on par with three of the greatest coaches in the history of the Association.

It's easy to lament what could've been, but perhaps it really is as simple as Hurley wanting to return to UConn after all—even if there is an unknown number that could've convinced him to leave.