Dan Hurley Parlays Lakers Interest into Massive New UConn Deal

Dan Hurley Parlays Lakers Interest into Massive New UConn Deal article feature image

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images Pictured: Dan Hurley

In an alternate universe, Dan Hurley is in California right now reading hot takes about Bronny James’ four-point Summer League debut while listening to a JJ Redick podcast.

Instead, after spurning the Los Angeles Lakers’ public push to poach him away from college basketball, Hurley parlayed their overtures into a new six-year, $50 million contract at UConn. It’s a massive increase over the previous contract he signed only a year ago when UConn rewarded him with a six-year, $32.1 million deal after winning the 2023 title.

Hurley is now the third-highest paid coach in college basketball on an annual basis behind only Bill Self at Kansas and John Calipari at Arkansas.

On the surface, his new contract with UConn is less than what the Lakers offered to pry him away. Los Angeles reportedly offered a six-year, $70-million contract, which would have made him the NBA’s fifth-highest paid coach on a yearly basis.

So, did Hurley really leave $20 million on the table?

The answer isn’t that straightforward. California has the highest state-level tax in the country at 13.3% while Connecticut is half that amount. Add in the cost of living, his family’s well-know affinity for UConn and each team’s chances to win a championship, and it’s easy to see why Hurley used the Lakers’ interest to secure an even better deal at the place he preferred to coach.

Hurley now aims to win a third straight national title, as UConn hopes to join UCLA as the only school to accomplish that feat. UConn is tied with Kansas for the best odds to win this year’s title according to FanDuel at +1000.

His chances of a three-peat are far higher than the Lakers' chances of winning the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Los Angeles is only +3500 to win the NBA title at FanDuel, which ranks ninth in the league.

The Lakers must also contend in a stacked Western Conference that includes four teams with far better odds than them – the Oklahoma City Thunder at +750, Denver Nuggets at +850, Dallas Mavericks at +1000 and Minnesota Timberwolves at +1000.

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