Lakers rumors: Shams Charania throws ice-cold water on entire Dan Hurley story

Connecticut v Villanova
Connecticut v Villanova / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers' head coaching search took a dramatic right turn last week as out of nowhere, UConn head coach Dan Hurley emerged as the perceived frontrunner for the opening. Reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Hurley was circled as the Lakers' No. 1 option, leading the team to meet with the two-time National Champion and eventually offer him a contract.

Hurley's official decision came on Monday and he turned the Lakers down after a week of speculation. Los Angeles reportedly offered Hurley a six-year, $70 million contract that was not enough to convince him to jump ship to the NBA.

This one-week story about Hurley being the Lakers' No. 1 coaching option does not pass the smell test, especially considering Woj was the only notable insider with the story. Shams Charania certainly didn't bring any clarity to the situation, as he explained, per his sources, that Hurley was never the team's No. 1 option and that he took $20 million less to stay at UConn.

Shams Charania throws ice-cold water on Lakers-Dan Hurley story

The other main candidate, J.J. Redick, works with Woj at ESPN and is currently broadcasting the NBA Finals. Woj infamously stopped tweeting draft picks before they could be broadcast by ESPN, so it is worth questioning if there is an ESPN-related reason why Woj hasn't touched on Redick yet was the only insider who had the Hurley story.

It is worth mentioning that Woj previously wrote a book on Bob Hurley, Dan Hurley's father. There is a relationship between Woj and the Hurley family and that is an important detail for Lakers fans to remember.

The smoking gun, at least based on what Shams is saying, is the fact that Hurley was in contract negotiations with UConn at the same time as this Lakers story. It is a common practice in the sports world for coaches and players alike to leverage the media to get what they want during negotiations.

What is a good way for Hurley to get UConn to fork over a higher salary to keep him as the head coach? Leak to one of the most prominent insiders in the league that the Lakers are a potential home for him and that the team is willing to pay. Hurley may have gotten less from UConn than he would have from the Lakers offer, per Shams, but leveraging LA's interest likely increased his payday.

Of course, nobody knows what truly happened other than those that were directly involved in the story. But if fans are reading the tea leaves, and taking what Shams is saying into consideration, then it is fair to theorize that Hurley just used the Lakers for his own negotiations and that maybe Redick has been the guy all along.

After all, Redick directly said he would respond to the initial Shams report about the Lakers zeroing in on him after the NBA Finals. All of this may have just been one big distraction away from the fact that this might already be Redick's job.