JJ Redick considered heavy favorite, but Lakers in 'no rush' with coaching search

With the NBA Finals set to begin Thursday in Boston, the Lakers still don’t have a head coach and, according to people with direct knowledge of the search who are not authorized to speak publicly, are in “no rush” to end the process.

While the internal messaging remains that the process is ongoing and any finality is premature, speculation continues to be focused on JJ Redick and the strong likelihood he ends up as the team’s next head coach.

People familiar with the search said Redick, his representatives and the Lakers have not had conversations about contract details.

On Tuesday, the Athletic reported the Lakers “are zeroing in on JJ Redick as the frontrunner” for their coaching vacancy.

Redick, according to The Times and multiple other outlets, had been considered a strong favorite for most of the last month, with his name tied to the Lakers repeatedly by front office and coaching insiders around the league during the early stages of the search. Internally, the Lakers have maintained they’ve been conducting a thorough search with conversations involving several candidates.

Redick is working the NBA Finals as a television analyst, and it’s widely believed that is playing a role in how everyone will proceed in the closing stages of the search.

The Times reported last week that the team held in-person meetings with New Orleans assistant James Borrego, who impressed staffers across multiple departments.

While Borrego had support behind his candidacy, he’s also coveted as an assistant coach should the Lakers ultimately hire Redick.

The team also has discussed filling out its bench with former NBA coach Scott Brooks, former Lakers staffer Greg St. Jean and former Lakers guard Rajon Rondo. The team is also interested in Boston assistant Sam Cassell, whom they spoke to about their head coaching vacancy, and Dallas assistant Jared Dudley.

The Lakers’ search appears to have centered on Redick and Borrego, though the organization spoke with Denver assistant David Adelman and Minnesota assistant Micah Nori, among others.

The team fired Darvin Ham after only two seasons after their five-game loss to the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs.

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