Scott himself certainly acted as though the deal was done, too.
“It feels fantastic,” he told Jim Hill of KCBS-TV. “This is a dream come true. I always wanted to coach the Lakers, especially when I got to coaching. It’s so unreal. I have to thank [general manager] Mitch [Kupchak], Jeanie and Jim Buss to give me this opportunity.”
But there’s one minor problem with all of this: the Lakers say a deal hasn’t yet been reached.
The Lakers continued to negotiate with Byron Scott to be their coach but had not reached an official agreement as of Saturday evening, according to a person familiar with the situation.
The Lakers were quick to downplay an ESPN.com report that they had given Scott a four-year, $17-million deal with a team option for the fourth year.
“There is no done deal,” said a person who requested anonymity because of the fluidity of the situation.
So, where do we go from here? Likely to a point where the deal becomes official sometime soon.
The Lakers have targeted Scott all along, even though they’ve done so for reasons that seem difficult to justify. Still, it’s been tunnel vision with Scott for months now — despite the team having talks with other more qualified candidates.
If in fact things aren’t very near to the finish line where the negotiations are concerned, it won’t be a great start with Scott in his new role, confirming something to the media that hasn’t yet happened. But more than likely, the deal will be formally announced in the next 24-48 hours, and the terms will closely resemble those in the original report.