Lakers finally make it official, hire JJ Redick to become the new head coach

The Los Angeles Lakers have finally ended the weeks of speculation by hiring JJ Redick to become the franchise's new head coach.
New York Knicks v Philadelphia 76ers
New York Knicks v Philadelphia 76ers / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

After weeks of speculation, the Los Angeles Lakers have finally made it official. With less than a week remaining until the 2024 NBA Draft, general manager Rob Pelinka has pulled the trigger on hiring the head coach most expected to get the job.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Lakers have hired JJ Redick to a four-year contract to become the franchise's 29th full-time head coach.

The news that Redick is already working to put together his coaching staff is in line with longstanding reports that the organization already has candidates in mind.

Redick, 39, played 15 seasons in the NBA, scoring 12,028 points and converting 1,950 three-point field goals. The proverbial late-bloomer, he averaged a career-best 18.1 points per game while helping the Philadelphia 76ers go 51-31 in his 13th season in the Association.

Since retiring in 2021, Redick has become one of the most prominent and educational NBA analysts in the industry.

A lack of coaching experience has highlighted the criticism towards Redick, but the Lakers are willing to gamble on his upside. Some in the organization reportedly view him as a Pat Riley type of figure as far as his potential as a head coach is concerned.

Riley, of course, was the head coach for the Showtime Lakers, winning four championships at the helm and a fifth as the sideline general for the Miami Heat.

Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting that the Lakers will be paying Redick roughly $8 million per season. It marks the conclusion of a month-long pursuit of a coaching prospect who lacks experience but is revered for his ability to teach viewers about the game.

In addition to appearing as an analyst on ESPN and ABC broadcasts, Redick has conquered the podcast realm—most notably alongside Lakers star LeBron James on Mind the Game.

Redick will now turn to coaching James, who will turn 40 in the early months of the 2024-25 season. All eyes will be on Los Angeles as he looks to balance his friendship with the four-time MVP with his obligation to maintain a fair environment of accountability in the locker room.

It's a risky hire in many eyes, but the Lakers believe that Redick has the qualifications to navigate unenviable terrain and lead the franchise back to prominence.