According to ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard, the Clippers initiated contract discussions with former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Byron Scott on Friday.
Sources: Clippers initiated talks about financial parameters of a contract w/Byron Scott Friday night. Did not do so w/L Hollins & B Shaw.
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) June 22, 2013
With the talks of the trade with Boston fizzling out once more after Doc Rivers pulled his name out, the Clippers might be ready to move on elsewhere and hire Byron Scott instead of staying patient. I wrote a bit on Byron Scott and why he’s the favorite for the job back in May, and it still makes sense now that he would beat out both Lionel Hollins (likely too expensive) and Brian Shaw (always the bridesmaid) in this race. Is there a requirement of Donald Sterling’s that Scott doesn’t meet? Probably not.
Although nothing is done yet, this does have interesting implications on Chris Paul’s pending free agency. Paul has spoken very kindly of Scott in the past, saying he’s like “family” even after the two were split up in New Orleans. How Paul would perceive Scott’s hiring is very interesting. Would he see it as the Clippers hiring one of his guys, or would he see it as the Clippers going cheap?
Paul was reportedly upset once again about the failed Clippers-Celtics deal for Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers, and a potential hiring of Scott, who has an offset contract with Cleveland, lends some credence to the theory that the trade failed over Doc’s high-dollar contract. That seems much easier to believe than the Clippers balking at giving up a first round pick to fill huge needs — and more importantly — probably locking up Chris Paul for the next five years. An optimist may view it as the Clippers playing a position of power and not relinquishing assets unnecessarily, but hiring Scott and not even waiting for Boston to make their decision on Paul Pierce submarines that argument a bit.
We’ll have more news as it becomes available, so stay tuned.