Lakers News: Latest Info on Coaching Search, Wesley Johnson and More

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIJuly 20, 2014

CLEVELAND, OH - MARCH 29:  Byron Scott of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers at The Quicken Loans Arena on March 29, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Los Angeles Lakers are putting the finishing touches on a roster that is a lot less formidable than the team's front office had hoped for. Nonetheless, the effort to put out a strong group was made.

The attempts to lure Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James and to re-sign Pau Gasol didn't go unnoticed by the face of the franchise. Per ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, Kobe Bryant is telling general manager Mitch Kupchak: good job, good effort.

The "pieces" Bryant is referring to are veteran and amnestied power forward Carlos Boozer, as well as Ryan Kelly, Xavier Henry and Wesley Johnson, with whom the Lakers came to terms on Saturday, per Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times.

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 9: Wesley Johnson #11 and Ryan Kelly #4 of the Los Angeles Lakers high five during a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at STAPLES Center on March 9, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges an
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These aren't exactly moves that will leave the San Antonio Spurs shaking in their boots, but they do represent exactly what Bryant said: effort.

Behind Bryant, the Lakers will play hard and have their moments with promising rookie big man Julius Randle improving as the season progresses. He talks about his NBA Summer League exploits here.

But the Lakers won't make the playoffs, and considering the amount of games the team will play against the likes of the Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Spurs and the rest of the West's elite, the Lakers may not even finish with a .500 record.

It's cold, but it's the truth.

 

Who's Going to Coach This Team?

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 10:  Head coach Byron Scott of the Cleveland Cavaliers calls out the play late in the game against the Detroit Pistons at The Quicken Loans Arena on April 10, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agr
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This may sound a bit backward, but now that the roster has been all but finalized, shouldn't a head coach be named sometime soon?

Byron Scott has to lead the league in interviews at this point. Per Shelburne, the team met again with Scott on July 16. It's hard to imagine what else there is to discuss.

Scott played 11 of his 14 pro seasons with the Lakers, so Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak know him pretty well. He and Bryant have a good relationship, and the Mamba endorsed him.

The 53-year-old's coaching resume is hit and miss. He's coached his share of bad teams, but when he's had talent, his teams have won. Scott led the New Jersey Nets to back-to-back NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003. In fact, the Nets lost to Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant's Lakers in the first of those two trips to the Finals.

The Lakers know what they are getting if they hire Scott, and at this point, it doesn't appear that there are a lot of better options available. 

For the sake of stability and closure to an offseason of uncertainty, the team should just make the move.