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NBA Rumors: Lakers Hire Their Coach

The Lakers have finally hired a coach. See what the players think … Eric Bledsoe frustrated with Suns over free agency? … Michael Beasley receiving interest from teams

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Lakers Agree to Deal With Scott

Lakers have agreed to terms with Byron Scott to be their next head coach.

Lakers deal with Byron Scott will be four years, $17 million.

The Lakers will hold a team option on the fourth-year of the deal with Byron Scott.

via Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLA.com

After many meetings and interviews, it was only a matter of time until Byron Scott was hired as the next head coach of the Lakers. Now, it seems that the two sides have finally reached an agreement on a contract that pay him $17 million over three guaranteed years and a fourth year that’s a team option.

Recently, a number of Lakers players expressed their support to Scott, as Basketball Insiders’ own Jabari Davis recapped in his latest article.

“We’ve had a tremendously close relationship throughout the years,” Kobe Bryant said. “So, obviously I know him extremely well. He knows me extremely well. I’ve always been a fan of his.”

“If that were to happen, that would be awesome,” Jeremy Lin told ESPNLA’s Max and Marcellus. “Obviously he’s a very well respected person, well respected coach and had a heck of a career himself.”

“Well if [Scott] is the coach, that’s terrific,” Carlos Boozer told ESPNLA. “Obviously, he was a great player – you know – a ‘Laker Legend’ of course, but also was a good coach in the NBA for a long time and for a couple different teams. He brings great experience, and obviously knows the NBA very, very well. I think that he could add a lot to our team. I’d be interested to have a conversation with him to find out how he views our team and how he wants to utilize all of us.”

Scott will replace Mike D’Antoni, who resigned as the team’s head coach after the Lakers finished last season with a franchise-worst 27-55 record.

Bledsoe Discusses Restricted Free Agency

Eric Bledsoe’s first public comment as a restricted free agent was also his first public sign of displeasure with the Phoenix Suns.

Appearing at a streetball event Saturday in his hometown of Birmingham, Bledsoe told Birmingham station WBRC-TV, “I’m letting my agent Rich Paul handle it. You know, I understand the Phoenix Suns are using restricted free agency against me but I understand that.”

Bledsoe apparently is referring to how he remains unsigned after nearly four weeks of free agency. The Suns have the ability to sign Bledsoe or match any other team’s offer sheet.

via Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic

Eric Bledsoe and the Phoenix Suns remain far apart on a contract and, as Bledsoe said in his first comments about free agency, the Suns are clearly using the restricted free agency process to their advantage. And who can blame them?

Bledsoe really doesn’t have any leverage in these negotiations, since there aren’t many teams with significant cap space left, as Basketball Insiders’ Eric Pincus recently pointed out with this excellent chart.

Because few teams have money to spend, it’s unlikely that Bledsoe will be able to ink a lucrative offer sheet, meaning he and the Suns will have to negotiate a long-term contract straight up or he’ll have to sign for the one-year qualifying offer that would allow him to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason. This would be very risky, especially given Bledsoe’s injury history.

The Suns have reportedly offered Bledsoe a four-year, $48 million contract, which is what the Toronto Raptors signed Kyle Lowry for earlier this offseason. Bledsoe, according to reports, wants a five-year, $80 million deal.

Restricted free agency is often difficult for players. Greg Monroe currently finds himself in the same position as Bledsoe in his negotiations with the Detroit Pistons. Last offseason, it was Nikola Pekovic who ran out of potential suitors and, finally, in mid-August inked a new contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves. It remains to be seen how this will end between Bledsoe and the Suns, but he doesn’t have many options at this point.

Beasley Receiving Interest From Several Teams

Several teams have expressed interest in free agent Michael Beasley. Teams like the efficiency and maturity he showed last season in Miami. Michael Beasley is currently training in LA with Kevin Durant. Lakers could make sense for Beasley. He’d be a good fit to fill out roster.

via Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders

A number of teams have expressed interest in Michael Beasley.

Even though the former No. 2 overall pick’s career hasn’t gone exactly as planned, he’s still intriguing to executives. He’s only 25 years old and incredibly talented.

Teams were also impressed with Beasley’s stint with the Miami HEAT in the 2013-14 season, during which the forward played efficient basketball (shooting a career-best field goal percentage and finishing top 10 among small forwards in efficiency rating) and displayed maturity when asked to handle a reduced role on the contending team.

Beasley is currently working out in Los Angeles with his childhood friend Kevin Durant. He continues to field interest from teams and weigh his free agency options.

Alex Kennedy is the Managing Editor of Basketball Insiders and this is his 10th season covering the NBA. He is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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