The “Los Angeles Times” reported Wednesday that the Los Angeles Lakers are prepared to offer a three-year deal plus a club option for a fourth season to former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown to become the next head coach of the franchise. According to the paper’s sources the deal will reportedly pay Brown between $4 million to $4.5 million per season. Reports indicate that Brown won over Lakers Vice President of player personnel Jim Buss because of his defensive mind-set. The report also states that if Brown turns the deal down then former Houston Rockets coach Rick Adelman would be their next choice to replace the departing Phil Jackson.
Brown took the Cavaliers to their only appearance in the NBA Finals when they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in 2007. He was named NBA Coach Of The Year for the 2009 campaign when he helped Cleveland to the best record during the regular season. The club would also win the most games in the regular season the following year but Brown was dismissed after the Cavaliers were eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the Playoffs.
Speculation during the season centered on Los Angeles assistant coach Brian Shaw as the heir apparent to replace Jackson who retired when the team was swept in the second round by the Dallas Mavericks. Apparently the Lakers brain-trust had reservations about handing over the reins to someone without any head coaching experience.
Brown would take over a team that may undergo some major roster changes this summer. Los Angeles had one of the oldest teams in the Association this past season with four of their five starters over 30-years old. The former Cleveland coach is also reported to have garnered interest by the Golden State Warriors as well as the Indiana Pacers to coach their clubs in the upcoming season.