The Lakers’ coaching-hire process appeared to be:
1. Pick Jason Kidd as assistant coach
2. Pick a head coach
The Lakers offered the head-coaching job to Tyronn Lue then lost him because he didn’t want Kidd on his staff. Lue would have dealt with Kidd for more money, but the Lakers wouldn’t pay. So, they moved onto Frank Vogel with Kidd as an assistant.
With the Lakers holding him in such high esteem, Kidd apparently took advantage.
Jason Kidd’s contract with the Lakers made him the highest paid assistant coach in the NBA, sources with knowledge of the deal said.
With a four-year, $6.5 million contract, Lue was the NBA’s highest-paid assistant of all-time when the Cavaliers hired him in 2014. It’s unclear who the highest-paid current assistant was before Kidd.
Of course, Cleveland fired David Blatt and promoted Lue to head coach in 2016. More compensation usually means more power. Is Vogel still sure he’s not worried about Kidd undermining him?
Kidd might be a fine assistant coach. He did creative things with the Bucks and Nets, and he was an incredibly smart player.
But I don’t see justification for the Lakers valuing him this much. His record of player development is mixed. He’s too often stuck in dated thinking. There were interpersonal issues in Milwaukee. He’s probably not going to lure Giannis Antetokounmpo to Los Angeles.
Still, there’s no cap on coaching salaries. Teams willing to spend can gain an advantage. The Lakers are giving themselves a better chance of having a quality assistant.
I’m just not convinced Kidd was the right assistant to target.