Potential Lakers free agency acquisition offers high praise for Dan Hurley

The Los Angeles Lakers are meeting with Connecticut Huskies head coach Dan Hurley to discuss a transition to the NBA. One star thinks Hurley could succeed.
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament   - National Championship
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - National Championship / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

Dan Hurley will meet with the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, June 7 to discuss a potential move from the NCAA to the NBA. A decision of monumental proportions will ultimately be made, as the Connecticut Huskies head coach could bring his championship pedigree to Los Angeles.

While the coaching search is expectedly dominating headlines, the Lakers are simultaneously closing in on an equally important moment: The beginning of free agency.

Los Angeles has limited resources as far as signing players outright is concerned. With the mid-level exception and minimum contracts to spare, however, it's possible that the Lakers could find a way to round out the roster with quality talent.

In an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, one rumored Lakers free agency target stoked the flames by praising Hurley: Point guard Chris Paul.

For those who can't watch the video, Paul said the following:

"I've got so much respect for [Hurley]. Because not just how he coaches, but how his players respond to him. Being players, you can see when a coach is coaching if everybody is in the huddle, listening. You can see the way that guys, during a free throw, the body language, guys huddle up and whatnot. I think, ultimately, if he does make that decision [to coach the Lakers], he'll definitely have that respect."

That's high praise from a player who's preparing for their 20th season in the NBA.

Paul, 39, is an 11-time All-NBA honoree and nine-time All-Defense selection. In terms of how he'd fit under Hurley in Los Angeles, it's easy to see how a player who values defensive intensity and communication would find something in Hurley's style that appeals to him.

According to NBA insider Marc Stein, that's a real possibility, as Paul is expected to be a top target for the Lakers.

That report hardly comes as a surprise, as the Lakers are in the market for depth at point guard and Paul is close friends with LeBron James. That combination of factors inevitably increases the odds of one of the greatest point guards in NBA history potentially making the move to Los Angeles.

The financial implications of a potential deal are still unclear, but it's worth noting that Paul is owed $30 million for the 2024-25 season—a figure the Golden State Warriors are likely to move off of.

It's still possible that the Lakers will add neither Hurley nor Paul. In the event that Hurley is hired, however, Paul's respect for him could certainly play a factor in whether or not Los Angeles opts to bring the future Hall of Famer in.

If nothing else, the stamp of approval from a player who knows a thing or two about competing at the highest level is a positive sign.