I get it.

Hiring a guy with no coaching experience to coach one of the NBA’s signature franchises when there were plenty of capable, qualified candidates available seems as though it would make absolutely no sense at all.

Until you really think about it.

And then, it makes perfect sense.

If the Lakers were interested in hiring an actual coach, they would have hired one. Not an ESPN analyst and podcaster who put together a successful 15-season playing career.

Yes, I’m aware that they reached out to Dan Hurley and offered him enough money to afford a Bel-Air mansion next door to Shohei Ohtani. But c’mon, just like Coach K in 2004, Hurley was never going to leave UConn.

Especially for an NBA job in which his best player would be calling most of the shots.

Including, perhaps, drafting that player’s not-nearly-ready-for-the-NBA son.

Which brings us back to JJ Redick.

If LeBron James is going to be the de facto coach assuming, of course, that he decides to stay with the Lakers you might as well hire a guy he knows and can get along with for the position that officially has the title.

Redick doesn’t have any coaching experience. But he and LeBron do a podcast together where they spent time breaking down the Lakers’ offense, among other things.  So there’s already a connection there. And presumably mutual respect.

The former Duke star obviously had game. He finished his college career as the ACC’s all-time leading scorer (since broken by Tyler Hansbrough). He successfully transitioned from the center of attention to an effective role player who carved out a niche that kept him in the NBA for nearly 2 decades – setting single-season 3-point shooting records with the Clippers and 76ers along the way.

He’s also smart, organized, confident and well-versed in the way the game is played today. Perhaps most important, his skin is thick enough to handle whatever kind of criticism is aimed his way.

From fans. The media. Anyone. He played for Krzyzewski, after all.

Nothing he hears now can possibly be worse than the abuse he took from Maryland fans – and a lot of others – when he was the most polarizing player on the most polarizing team in college basketball.

Those are all qualities that can be found in most successful coaches. So that bodes well for Redick as he moves forward and begins to gain experience in game management situations.

And believe it or not, the Lakers are a great place for him to get that on-the-job training.

His primary role will be as a motivator and keeping his players’ egos in check, the way his college coach did so masterfully during his time with the US National Team. As for the Xs and Os, no problem. Just get the ball to LeBron, clear everyone out and let him do whatever he wants to do with it.

That may or may not be a recipe for success next season. Redick’s hiring is a high-risk, high-reward gamble for the Lakers.

On the other hand, it’s a win-win situation for their new coach.

Think about it.

How many people, with a name as recognizable as Redick’s or not, get to start at the very top of the food chain in a profession instead of having to start at the bottom and working their way up?

If this all works, the Lakers avoid the play-in round, advance deep into the playoffs and maybe even win a championship, Redick will be hailed as a coaching savant who succeeded where the more experienced Frank Vogel and Darvin Ham haven’t since 2020.

He’ll command a much more lucrative contract than the 4-year, $8 million deal – or about 3 years and $62 million less than what was offered to Hurley – he’s reported to be getting. And he’ll have an even higher national visibility than he does now as a podcaster and ESPN talking head.

If it falls apart, on the other hand, much of the blame will be placed squarely on the Lakers and general manager Rob Pelinka in particular. And possibly James as well, even though he’s been careful not to become publicly involved in the coaching search.

Redick wouldn’t be completely absolved from responsibility because of the situation into which he was thrown. But he’d have a good excuse to distance himself from the situation. And the experience he gains from however long he lasts in LA will help him be better prepared for the next coaching job he gets.

At the very least, he’ll at least have plenty of new material to talk about on his podcast.