Dan Hurley’s “dirty” move during negotiations with the Lakers that led him back to UConn

Dan Hurley’s “dirty” move during negotiations with the Lakers that led him back to UConn

Dan Hurley could have shaken up the basketball world by leaving the Connecticut Huskies for the Los Angeles Lakers , but he opted to stay in Storrs — a decision that will have significant ramifications in the NCAA as well as the NBA.

Hurley has led the Huskies to consecutive national championships, becoming the first men’s college basketball coach to do so since Florida‘s Billy Donovan in 2007. Next season, Hurley can become the first “three-peater” since UCLA‘s legendary John Wooden, all the way back in 1969. In addition, he can sign a new contract with UConn that makes him one of college basketball’s richest coaches — albeit, at a lower annual salary than the Lakers offered him.

Did Hurley use the Lakers as leverage?

Hurley’s decision to stay at UConn could result in a reward: a six-year, $50 million contract extension to continue leading the Huskies. Hurley is already under contract until 2029, and the rumors of an immediate pay raise in the NCAA have begged the question: did Hurley simply use the Lakers to get more money from Connecticut?

NBA insider Shams Charania reports that this question is being asked around the league, as Los Angeles thought they had gotten their man by offering Hurley a six-year, $70 million contract that instantly would have made him one of the NBA‘s best-paid coaches.

With the NBA in the rear-view (for now), Hurley is free to re-up with the Huskies and continue building his new dynasty in Connecticut. It means Hurley this summer will have chosen UConn over the Lakers and the University of Kentucky — the blue-blooded program that sought to hire him following the departure of longtime coach John Calipari to Southeastern Conference rivals Arkansas.

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