Jay Wright cuts down the nets
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Jay Wright Being Cited As Possible 'Stealth Candidate' For Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers failed to land one college coach. So, hey, why not try a former college coach?

Before being turned down by Dan Hurley on Monday, the Lakers already may have had interest in former Villanova coach Jay Wright, according to NBA insider Marc Stein of The Stein Line.

While it seems like a long shot, Stein wrote that one "well-placed insider" informed him "to stay ready in case former Villanova coach Jay Wright emerged as a stealth candidate," with the Lakers.

Wright, 62, last coached the Wildcats during the 2021-22 season. He has been working as a college basketball studio analyst since. There is no word on if Wright has a desire to get back into coaching or if he would be interested in the NBA. He won two national championships at Villanova. He currently serves as a studio analyst for CBS college basketball broadcasts.

Hurley, 51, met with Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and team owner Jeannie Buss over the weekend. He told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that the Lakers made a "compelling" offer and that he intended to decide on his future on Monday. He made that decision — he's staying at UConn.

Hurley will now focus on a new deal with the Huskies after winning back-to-back championships with the program.

"As swept away as Hurley became by the Lakers courtship and vision for him, he ultimately couldn't walk away from a chance to make history and pursue a third straight NCAA title," Wojnarowski wrote. "Even before Lakers talks, Hurley already had a UConn offer to become one of highest-paid NCAA coaches and those talks will continue, per sources."

A lot of insiders felt Hurley would remain at UConn all along. So did St. John's coach Rick Pitino.

"What I'm hearing — and I have no [inside information] — is that his father [Bob Hurley Sr.] and his wife [Andrea] are very strong in his life and they don't want to go," Pitino told Dave Blezow of The New York Post. "I think he's going to try it, no different than [John] Calipari tried it or I tried it. I don't think he's going to take the job, but I think he's going to try the pros someday."

Hurley signed a six-year, $32.1 million deal with UConn after the 2023 championship season. His buyout to join the NBA would be roughly $1.9 million.