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Jeanie Buss tipped her hand for the first time with Byron Scott leak

Jeanie Buss has skated by this year without much (if any) criticism landing on her plate. That changes with latest report concerning her preference in coach.

If Jeanie tipped her hand by leaking her preferred candidate, it might be fair to question which ring she's prioritizing.
If Jeanie tipped her hand by leaking her preferred candidate, it might be fair to question which ring she's prioritizing.
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Jeanie Buss' greatest stroke of genius has been to completely distance herself from the trainwreck that has been the Los Angeles Lakers. She can focus on the business end of things (which will always do just fine) while her brother handles by far the toughest aspect of running the organization: keeping it afloat on the basketball court.

That all changed today, when Ken Berger of CBS Sports reported about her preference on how to move forward with the coach. If this is any preview of what the team might look like under her guidance upon firing her brother for failing to live up to his deadline, there isn't much to look forward to.

Believe it or not, Byron Scott has what one source described as a "major chance" to stay with the Lakers; Jeanie Buss is said to be pushing for Scott behind the scenes. If so, it could clear the way for a top-to-bottom reset for the franchise in 2017, and the possible return of Jackson to run basketball operations with Luke Walton as the coach. There are a lot of dots to be connected to get from here to there, though -- not to mention a lot more games for the Lakers to lose.

Now, the caveat anytime we're talking about leaks from the Lakers is, well, they never leak anything. If players were half as good at playing basketball as the front office is at keeping information, the Warriors would have competition for the record they're challenging tonight. If that is taken into account, it's tough not to take any such report as the one seen above with a grain of salt.

With that said, if we are taking this as legitimate information, Jeanie Buss just tipped her hand for the first time.

First and foremost, we're supposed to believe this is Jeanie's first foray into the basketball operations. All season, she's made it absolutely clear she is not involved with that aspect of the Lakers in any way, shape or form -- going so far as to admit she's only had a couple conversations with Byron Scott, the head coach of the team she owns.

(Snarky comment time: Maybe a few more conversations are in order so as to convince Jeanie of how terrible an idea it is to keep Byron around.)

Any kind of angling for a coaching candidate is a stark difference in what we've been led to believe her role with the Lakers might be. I'd like to know how long this has been going on.

Secondly, and more interestingly, it's not very hard to connect the dots on what the thinking might be on Jeanie's part. Why hire a new coach this season, if the plan is to fire the entire front office when next season ends? In this hypothetical, Jeanie is setting up her brother to fail and, in the process, will throw yet another season away in 2017.  Not ideal. Not ideal at all.

Now, it could also be the Lakers just believe in Scott's coaching ability and would like to see him coach with a more competitive team and the absence of a highly inefficient superstar who demanded such a large percentage of the offense go through him. I'd be inclined to disagree completely, but hey, maybe that's just me.

Regardless of whether that is her intention, it appears we're about to see at least some changes in the way the Lakers are run. If this is indeed a preview as how that might be, with Jeanie potentially actively tanking the franchise so as to assume complete control and the ability to bring in her desired people (and yes, I'm talking about her fiancee here), this is about as calculating as someone can possibly be, given the amount of swing she already has.

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