The future of the Los Angeles Lakers is totally up in the air at the moment. Questions are surrounding the coaching situation, the franchise’s ability to lure marquee free agents, and ownership’s recent decision making. One issue likely to be addressed the soonest is the coaching carousel. A decision regarding Mike D’Antoni‘s immediate future with the team should occur relatively quick, as both sides have no intention of dragging it out. Therefore, if management ultimately decides to terminate the remainder of his contract, the search for a replacement coach will begin.
Byron Scott‘s name has popped up on numerous occasions as of late. Scott played for the Lakers years ago, and has a pretty solid relationship with Lakers star Kobe Bryant. Scott also has an outstanding relationship with current Cleveland Cavalier Kyrie Irving, who is expected to hit free agency in the summer of 2015. It’s hard to believe that Irving has a good relationship with anybody in the NBA at this point, but the two sides reportedly talk on a daily basis.
Despite being fired, Scott played a mentorship role for Irving, mainly because he was the head coach when Cleveland drafted him. The two have mutual respect for one another, so if hired by the Lakers, this relationship may have a huge impact on Irving’s decision making in 2015 free agency. Los Angeles is preserving cap space for that summer, so Irving is not outside the realm of possibilities. All indications point to Irving fleeing Cleveland the second the opportunity presents itself, and the Lakers may be his best option for his career moving forward.
Irving’s leadership has been under constant questioning both on and off the court. He has been expected to be the leader of the Cavaliers since he was drafted, which is a very difficult task to ask of such a young player. With experience should come inherited leadership, but Cleveland is still not the right place for him. Irving needs a veteran to take him under their wing and show him the ropes. A perfect veteran to complete this task is current superstar and beloved Lakers shooting guard Bryant.
Bryant and Irving are familiar with each other, so I wouldn’t expect Irving to pull any shenanigans under Bryant’s watch if the two were in fact paired together. Who knows, it could be the jumpstart Irving needs to take the next step into stardom. Of course, it is all speculation right now, but we should have more information in coming weeks, at least regarding Scott.