Report: JJ Redick front-runner over James Borrego for Lakers head coaching job

JJ Redick is the front-runner to be the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, but no decision on the position has been made, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports.

Per the report, Redick is the favorite for the job over fellow candidate James Borrego, the associate head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans. Redick, a former NBA player, is currently a broadcast analyst for ESPN. The Lakers still have multiple steps planned in their head-coaching search, per the report.

Redick, 39, has never held a coaching position beyond the youth level. He played 15 seasons in the NBA as a shooting specialist from 2006-2021. He was previously a standout shooting guard at Duke from 2002-06. Since retiring as a player, Redick has worked as a broadcast analyst for ESPN.

JJ Redick has worked as an NBA analyst for ESPN since retiring as a player in 2021. (Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)JJ Redick has worked as an NBA analyst for ESPN since retiring as a player in 2021. (Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)

JJ Redick has worked as an NBA analyst for ESPN since retiring as a player in 2021. (Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)

Redick has emerged as a coaching candidate on multiple occasions since retiring and reportedly interviewed with the Charlotte Hornets this offseason in addition to the Lakers. The Hornets hired Boston Celtics assistant Charles Lee to take over for Steve Clifford, who moved into a front-office advisory role in April. Redick also reportedly interviewed for the Toronto Raptors coaching job in 2023.

Charania cited sources declaring that the Lakers have become “infatuated” with Redick during their coaching search. During its search, the franchise has been consulting with former Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who coached Redick during his four years in Durham.

Redick also has a relationship with LeBron James and co-hosts a podcast with the Lakers superstar. James has an option to opt out of his contract with the Lakers and holds significant leverage with the franchise.

The Lakers have held in-person interviews with both Redick and Borrego as their search has narrowed to the two candidates, per the report. Borrego has “impressed” in his interviews, according to the report. He’s worked on NBA sidelines as an assistant or head coach with San Antonio Spurs, Pelicans, Charlotte Hornets and Orlando Magic since 2003. He was the interim head coach of the Magic in 2015 and the head coach of the Hornets from 2018-2022.

During their search, the Lakers have also reportedly interviewed with Celtics assistant Sam Cassell, Minnesota Timberwolves assistant Micah Nori, Denver Nuggets assistant David Adelman and Miami Heat assistant Chris Quinn.