New Lakers coach Mike Brown is starting to round up his posse of assistants. According to reports today from Dave McMenamin and Ric Bucher of ESPN, Brown intends to hire recently disemployed Pistons head coach John Kuester to oversee the Laker offense. Jim Boylen, the former head coach at the University of Utah, will also join as a bench assistant, and Chuck Person as well has been offered the opportunity to stay on in that role. Person has also interviewed for an assistant's gig under Kevin McHale with the Rockets and is expected to make a decision sometime this week.
Serving in Tex Winteresque "behind the bench" roles will be Ettore Messina, whom we've discussed extensively, and Quin Snyder. Snyder you may remember as the onetime coach at the University of Missouri or perhaps as a former Dukie with offensively overstyled hair. As for our friend and spiritual guide Brian Shaw, he's moving on. He'll soon interview with Indiana for the job of lead assistant coach. We wish him well and fear the horrible vengeance he'll no doubt inflict on the Lakers' organization someday.
Now, who wants to talk about Pau Gasol and the Minnesota Timberwolves? You all do? Goodie!
All right, this has all got a bit twisty, but I'll do my best to summarize. The two guys who've been pushing this story are Eric Pincus, an LA-based reporter who writes for HoopWorld, and Jerry Zgoda, the Wolves' beat writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Eric has an excellent rep in the business. I'm not as familiar with Jerry's work, but since he covers the Wolves on a daily basis for Minnesota's flagship paper, he should know whereof he speaks. In other words, there's no reason to believe anyone's full of shit here.
When you piece together what these guys have been writing the past couple days, as Eric attempts to do here, it boils down to this:
1. The Wolves are interested in Gasol to help with Ricky Rubio's transition to the States and also because Pau's really good and Kahn needs to start showing some improvement ASAP.
2. The Lakers are interested in Kevin Love, the second pick in the draft and maybe a few other Minnesota assets because they realize they need to get younger and deeper. If the Lakers could get Love, the two pick and some filler (e.g., Darko to back up Bynum), they'd be very tempted.
3. But Kahn's not going to do that deal. He thinks a hard salary cap is coming, which would force the Lakers to ratchet down their payroll. Therefore, he thinks he can pry Gasol loose on the cheap, or at least that it's worth a try.
4. But the Lakers aren't about to play along because a hard cap is far from a sure thing. It might not happen at all, or if it does happen there's likely to be a phase-in period that wouldn't require immediate roster surgery. There's no point stripping out payroll before you even know what the new rules will be.
So even though the two teams have actually spoken about this, at the moment there's no meeting of the minds. That could always change, but it seems like it would require one side or the other to adjust its fundamental view of what the new CBA will look like. More likely, the whole idea just disappears, perhaps to be revisited after the new labor agreement is signed.
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