It is official that JJ Redick will be the next head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers as it was heavily rumored for a long time since the former player impressed as an analyst and started a podcast with star LeBron James. However, one person that is pumping the brakes on any lofty expectation is former player and current front office member of the Miami Heat in Udonis Haslem.

Haslem says Lakers will miss playoffs next season

JJ Redick looks on before game four of the 2024 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center.
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

The former teammate of James has been appearing frequently on various shows across ESPN and since the news broke from Adrian Wojnarowski about Redick being the next Lakers head coach, he was asked for his opinion on the current events. In the specific question of what the ceiling is for Los Angeles next season, Haslem would say whether or not Redick comes in with a creative game plan, there is “no way” they are making it to the postseason.

“I love the Lakers and and I love everything that they got going on, but ain't no way in hell that they go to the playoffs this year with that roster,” Haslem said on “Get Up” on ESPN. “JJ Redick can draw up the intersection of Puerto Rico, it does not matter. A couple of little giants for y'all, but it does not matter who's on that roster because these young guys Ant-man SGA, Luka, he's gonna get more experienced he's going to grow out of some of those bad habits that he had and these guys are getting better and I like to call this right now idols are becoming rivals, all the young guys that have watched these guys dominate all this time, this is their chance and they are not letting off the gas.”

The Lakers have been on the hunt for a head coach ever since they relieved Darvin Ham of his duties after the team lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Denver Nuggets. Even with Redick's name thrown around, the team was actively pursuing UConn basketball head coach Dan Hurley to take the job and was even proposed an offer, but he decided to stay at the collegiate level.

Haslem questions if players will believe James is talking through Redick

This would not be the first time Haslem has questioned the attractiveness of the job in Los Angeles as besides the expectations any person has associated with the Lakers, people will always question the legitimacy since James has been vocal with any team. The same sentiments were echoed by Haslem as he was on ESPN's “NBA Today” and said that players on the Lakers will question where “the message is coming from” whether it be Redick or James.

“I mean, they're gonna question where the message is coming from,” Haslem said. “They're gonna question what's the intent of everything, we understand how great of a basketball mind that JJ Redick is, but we also understand how great basketball mind that LeBron James has. And we also understand that these NBA players today spend 95 percent of the time focusing on the things they can't control. You can't control the relationship LeBron has with with JJ Reddick, you can't control the plays that JJ Reddick is going to run, you can't control the schemes and the defense that JJ is going to run, but I guarantee everything that JJ says, somebody's going to question if the LeBron James has something to do with it on the back end.”

“That's just how it's going to be,” Haslem continued. “And I told JJ that to his face when I saw him in the finals. It's nothing about JJ that I don't he can't do it. It is nothing about JD that I don't think he's capable. He has a bright future, he has a great basketball mind, but this is what the NBA is today. Guys that worry about things they cannot control. That's why I kept the job for five extra years.”

Lakers hoping Redick can breathe life into team

At any rate, the Lakers organization is looking for any way to boost the team after another disappointing season as they now put faith in Redick. Last season, Los Angeles had a 47-35 record which put them seventh in the Western Conference, but as said before, they were beat in five games by the Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs.