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Skiles and Brown join Alvin Gentry, Kurt Rambis, Byron Scott, Lionel Hollins and Mike Dunleavy as potential candidates for the Lakers head coaching position, which is looking like it won’t be filled until close to draft night, if not afterwards.
After nearly two seasons of D’Antoni ball, the Lakers are clearly interviewing a lot of defensive-oriented candidates, which is why Skiles has been thrown into the mix.
Brown is the really interesting name to take note of. Although he’s only had one season over .500 in the last four seasons, he’s the only candidate to have won a championship, back in 2004 with the Detroit Pistons against the Lakers coincidentally. He’s a win-now hire who has the credentials to immediately earn Kobe Bryant’s respect – an important factor. However, the two’s stubbornness makes the probability of a potential clash somewhat high.
The buyout language in Brown’s contract with SMU, which pays him around $2 million annually, is unknown. He has a reputation for hopping around, but he has his best team coming in next season, highlighted by his first top five recruit in point guard Emmanuel Mudiay. The Lakers may be the only pro team capable of luring him away, if the interest is serious and mutual.
The appeal of Fisher for the Knicks is easy to see. He checks all of the same boxes that Steve Kerr, who at one point verbally committed to take the job, did. He has extensive knowledge and understanding of the triangle offense, has a long history with Phil Jackson and has strong leadership traits that should translate well over to being a head coach.
The big difference is that Fisher, with the Lakers’ interest waning, doesn’t have multiple teams pursuing him in order to create a bidding war like Kerr did. He may cost more than the $13.2 million they were trying to get Kerr to accept on a three-year deal, but will still likely come significantly cheaper than the offer the Golden State Warriors were able to lure Kerr away with. It will likely come down to whether Fisher actually wants to become a coach, not financial figures. Just considering Fisher has already cost the Knicks, Jackson in particular actually, $25,000 for publicly commenting about him while he’s on another team, or tampering as the league called it.
Rondo made these comments after talking about how bad he wanted to get back to competing at a high level. He has faith in Celtics’ management, stemming from the fact that he has won an NBA championship with the franchise before and been to the Finals twice already in his career. That gives the Celtics’ an advantage with his pending free agency that the Minnesota Timberwolves just don’t have with Kevin Love, who is reportedly seeking a trade and spent several days in Boston to “checkout the city”.
Rondo is set to become a free agent at the end of the season. The Celtics have already tried to sign him to an extension, but it just didn’t make financial sense for him at the time to do so. By becoming a free agent he can receive a max, five-year contract. However, he could sign a three-year extension after July 1 if he desires, making the likely assumption that the Celtics oblige and make an offer.
He’s been surrounded by rumors for over a year now, but it seems like the Celtics will only consider trading him if their plans to put a contender around him don’t come to fruition and it’s their only means to significantly improve.
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