Rumor: Lakers could keep Byron Scott another season to allow Phil Jackson to pick coach in 2017

Getty Images
4 Comments

The Lakers are reportedly “torn” on whether to keep Byron Scott.

Why?

Howard Beck of Bleacher Report:

Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times:

This is a bad idea. The Lakers could do it. But it’s a bad idea.

Phil Jackson reportedly has a 2017 out clause in his contract with the Knicks, which has sparked speculation he could return to the Lakers and run their front office. After all, his fiancé – Jeannie Buss – is the Lakers’ governing owner.

But what has Jackson done running the Knicks to convince the Lakers they should throw away another season just for a chance him? Drafting Kristaps Porzingis was shrewd, but in totality, his management has been questionable.

Jackson seems to be focused on New York and harebrained schemes there. Waiting for him wouldn’t even guarantee he comes to Los Angeles.

Also, the shelf life on coaches is so short. The Lakers could hire a new coach this summer and want to fire him by 2017 – regardless of Jackson. They shouldn’t waste an opportunity to upgrade their coach for a year (not a high bar) just for a chance at Jackson. If Jackson wants them to fire the coach after Scott in 2017, they could always do that. But maybe they’d actually find a keeper.

Scott has been an abject disaster. He spent too much of the season stunting the growth of D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle. Scott’s bombastic focus on defense has produced the NBA’s worst mark at points allowed per possession. The Lakers’ offense under his watch has barely been better – 29th of 30 teams.

Keeping Scott another year for Jackson would be throwing good money after bad. With a talented young core, cap space, an appealing market with a proud history and maybe a high first-round pick, the Lakers have strong potential after this season.

This doesn’t make any sense – unless it’s a way to sabotage the team long enough to force Jim Buss to resign.