Did Dan Hurley Really Give Up THAT Much Money By Turning Down The Lakers?

By on June 13, 2024 in ArticlesSports News

We're in the midst of the NBA Finals, but the biggest story around the league over the past week was a growing rumor that UConn head coach Dan Hurley was going to make the leap to the pros and join the Los Angeles Lakers. Celtics fans lamented that their cross-country rival was taking the spotlight away from their potential record-setting NBA championship run, and…well, they're not wrong. The timing of the announcement was probably carefully coordinated by the Lakers.

Still, Hurley to the Lakers always seemed a bit far-fetched. He's just won two consecutive national championships with the Huskies. He's reloaded in the transfer portal and has what looks to be another excellent roster. The Lakers' two biggest stars are LeBron James, who's about to turn 40, and Anthony Davis, who, despite having his healthiest season in years, has missed plenty of time due to various injuries. The rest of the team is inconsistent, and it showed as the Lakers didn't make it out of the first round this year.

Earlier this offseason, Hurley turned down a large offer from Kentucky to become their next coach. Was the Lakers job really much better?

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Sure, the Lakers could spend more money, but that was about it. In the end, Hurley signed a six-year, $50 million extension to remain at UConn. Jeff Goodman reported the Lakers offered $70 million over six years.

Losing out on $20 million might seem rough, but as CPA Robert Raiola pointed out, the gap isn't nearly that large. The Lakers deal is worth $6 million per year after taxes, while UConn's deal is $4.6 million after taxes.

Hurley left about $8.4 million on the table by remaining in Storrs. He's still eligible to sign other deals if he so chooses, and on a per-game basis, UConn was a no-brainer. The Lakers played 82 regular season games and five playoff games. Counting the NCAA Tournament—which, remember, UConn won—the Huskies finished with a 37-3 record. That's fewer than half the games the Lakers had to play in.

Hurley is a fanatical planner and recruiter, of course, but a less grueling season is a big draw. More importantly, his family is happy on the East Coast—and he's the reigning king of college basketball. Why give that up for a middling job with a roster that might look radically different in a year or two?

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