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News broke late Wednesday night that Mike D’Antoni had resigned as the Lakers coach because they refused to pick up his option for the 2015-16 season. He did not want to coach next season without at least another year of security and a clear commitment from the front office that they believed in him. He didn’t get it and now the Lakers are looking for what will be their fourth head coach in three seasons.
A popular candidate not listed above is Byron Scott, who is a former champion with the Lakers during the Showtime era and one of the few players who would come in and immediately have Kobe Bryant’s respect. Scott was Bryant’s mentor when he first came into the league.
The Lakers have had a difficult run the last 14 years with coaches not named Phil Jackson. It’s one of the reasons why Lakers top basketball executive Jim Buss has such a bad reputation with the fans, because he’s continually missed with his head coaching hires (Rudy Tomjanovich, Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni). There is going to be a lot of pressure for him to make the right move here and with the Lakers having cash to spend in free agency, a proven Laker legend like Scott may be the safest way to go.
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The problem with trading Boozer is not that there aren’t potential suitors out there for him. Even with a salary of $16.8 million next season a team would likely be willing to take him on as long as the price tag in terms of assets they had to send out wasn’t too high because the free agency class of 2015 is poised to be so great. However, with it almost a foregone conclusion that the Bulls are going to use the Amnesty provision on him in order to create max cap room to potentially make a run after a top-tier free agent like Carmelo Anthony, they have no leverage in negotiations. They’re almost solely banking on a team with cap space being willing to absorb his contract, and that probably isn’t going to happen. So, expect the Bulls to be stuck amnestying him while the teams that would be legitimately interested in trading for him just wait until he hits the free agent market.
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This is the second time that Crawford has won the award, making him one of four players all-time to bring home the hardware twice. He has been an intricate part of the Clippers’ success this season, averaging 18.6 points a game off of the bench.
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