How the Lakers Offer to Dan Hurley Compares to Other NBA Coaches

How the Lakers Offer to Dan Hurley Compares to Other NBA Coaches article feature image

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Head coach Dan Hurley of the Connecticut Huskies.

Dan Hurley and the Los Angeles Lakers managed to steal some attention away from the NBA Finals this weekend after Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Lakers were going to offer Hurley a "massive, long-term contract offer" to leave college basketball and join the NBA.

Alas, Hurley decided against becoming the next Lakers head coach and will return to UConn to seek a third straight NCAA championship. Wojnarowski reported the Lakers offered six years and $70 million, which was not enough to lure the best coach in college basketball to one of the most storied franchises in the NBA.

To put that offer into the perspective, here are the top six NBA coaching salaries in 2024 based on Front Office Sports' tracking of contract details:

  • Golden State's Steve Kerr ($17.5M)
  • San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich ($16M)
  • Miami's Erik Spoelstra ($15M)
  • Detroit's Monty Williams ($13M)
  • Phoenix's Mike Budenholzer ($10M)
  • Sacramento's Mike Brown ($8.5M)

So, why did Hurley spurn one of the elite franchises in all professional sports?

While becoming one of the six highest paid coaches sounds impressive on the surface, the offer was was far short from the "massive" offer we were led to believe. After all, the Lakers rank 15th on Forbes' list of most valuable teams in the world with an estimated net worth of $5.9 billion.

The question remains as to why they cheaped out and weren’t willing to make Hurley an offer he couldn’t refuse to woo him out west.

This marks the second time in recent years that Los Angeles lost out on its preferred target by offering less many money than expected. That's a troubling trend for such a storied franchise. The team reportedly wanted Tyronn Lue back in 2019 to replace the fired Luke Walton, but Lue was reportedly “insulted” by the Lakers’ offer. The team eventually pivoted to Frank Vogel, who only lasted a handful of years.

Short tenures is another troubling trend for the Lakers. The head coaching position has been a revolving door ever since Phil Jackson retired in 2011. They’ve had seven over the last 13 years, with none lasting more than three seasons.

Where does the search for the eighth turn now?

JJ Redick was considered the favorite last week before word leaked that Hurley was the Lakers’ preferred choice. Wojnarowski pondered that the team might conduct their first formal interview with the broadcaster, who is calling the NBA Finals for ABC.

No matter who the Lakers eventually hire, their new coach takes the job knowing he was a backup choice. And now, considering the debate around the contract Hurley turned down, all eyes will also be on what Los Angeles ultimately offers its new head coach.

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