Byron Scott is in a tough position as the Lakers coach. Right now he is essentially a placeholder.
But a well-paid placeholder as the Lakers and Scott have reached a deal, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.
The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to terms on a four-year, $17 million contract with Byron Scott to be their next head coach, sources told ESPN. The Lakers hold a team option on the final year of the deal.
The buzz around the league the debate was over years, not dollars. The Lakers are trying to figure out who their next star will be and then once they get that what system best fits that star. That system may or may not be something you want Scott to coach, but they didn’t want a long-term committment to him in case they need to go another direction. The Lakers preferred a two-year deal, Scott likely wanted four, this is a compromise.
Our own Brett Pollakoff detailed why the Lakers ultimately settled for Scott (if you’re the leading candidate yet it took three months before they picked you, they settled). For one thing, this is the guy Kobe Bryant wanted. Still, it’s not going to be easy for Scott. The Lakers are going to spend the next couple years working to get another superstar or two, the guy or guys to be face of the franchise after Kobe Bryant steps away. Until then they do not want to commit to a specific style of play or format, they want to be flexible. Scott has to be that guy, hold the fort until we get the stars in place and know who we want to be.
That’s not how the Lakers will sell it. They will sell “he’s part of the family.” They will sell player development and defense as his skills, even though at his last couple stays those things never really surfaced.
But the Lakers got their man. Kobe’s man. A guy who has been to the Finals as a coach (even though his star player ran him off after that), a guy with rings as a Lakers player, a guy who is part of the family. That is what they can sell.