9:36pm: Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has announced the signing of Scott, reports Mike Trudell of Lakers.com (Twitter link). Kupchak said, “After an extensive and thorough search, we’re proud to welcome Byron back to the Lakers family as our next head coach.”
9:26pm: Scott has signed the contract and the press conference to announce the deal will be held Tuesday afternoon at 1pm (CDT), reports Mike Bresnahan of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).
MONDAY, 8:28am: There are minor details left to work out, but the main terms of the deal have been agreed upon, Scott tells Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link).
SATURDAY: 10:20pm: Medina writes that Scott was under the impression he had reached an agreement with Los Angeles, while the Lakers are claiming negotiations could take a couple more days to complete.
10:01pm: The Lakers have maintained to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News that negotiations are still ongoing with Scott (Twitter link). That would contradict the reported agreement, which Medina had confirmed earlier, presumably with a different source (on Twitter).
9:01pm: The Lakers have agreed to terms with Byron Scott, who will become the new head coach in Los Angeles, as first reported by Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (on Twitter). The deal is for four-years and $17MM, the fourth year being a team option. The deal has been in the works since yesterday, when some reports indicated the team had offered him the job.
As expected, the contract comes in at a lower salary than recent first-year coaching hires Derek Fisher and Steve Kerr, although not dramatically so. The length of the deal would suggest that the Lakers are planning to let Scott guide the team through what will likely be some difficult seasons in the immediate future. Of course, the team has shuffled through two coaches on long-term contracts the past two seasons, so Scott will still need to perform well to truly feel secure. The team is poised to miss the playoffs for consecutive seasons for the first time in five decades, and barring a major haul in next year’s free agency, isn’t positioned to scale back to the top of the Western Conference next year.
Los Angeles took the most time of any team in filling its coaching vacancy this summer, as the front office committed to a methodical search and an aggressive free agency period. Scott has long considered himself the favorite for the job, and was reported as the Lakers front-runner in late June. Scott’s history with the organization and his relationship with Kobe Bryant were factors that worked in his favor.
Scott will join his fourth NBA team as head coach. The coaching veteran and former Lakers player has compiled a career 416-521 record on the bench. Scott guided the Nets to two Finals appearances early in his coaching career and took New Orleans into the playoffs in consecutive seasons later in his career, but has led losing efforts in every other season. Most recently, Scott’s Cavs teams finished with 24 wins or fewer in each of his three seasons in Cleveland.
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