Lakers Rumors: Jason Kidd's Contract Made Him NBA's Highest-Paid Assistant

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2019

Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd reacts during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Jason Kidd had plenty of incentive to join the Los Angeles Lakers.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, "Kidd's contract with the Lakers made him the highest paid assistant coach in the NBA, sources with knowledge of the deal said."

Kidd's lucrative contract will only add to the speculation that he was hired to eventually become the head coach and replace Frank Vogel, who was also brought aboard this offseason. Vogel, to his credit, hasn't been concerned with any such talk, per Ohm Youngmisuk and Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com:

"No, I am very good at blocking out noise. I have been around this business a long time. I really don't give that a second thought. You can say that about every coach in the league about their assistant coaches.

"It happens from time to time. I believe if you treat people with the right respect and do the job at the highest level, build an environment of positivity and collaboration, you can't worry about that stuff.

"You can't worry about looking over your shoulder. You got to worry about getting good damn coaches, and that is how I feel about this hire."

Per that report, the Lakers are hoping Kidd can serve as a mentor to the team's young players like Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart, aiding in their development. His experience as a star point guard in his playing days should benefit Ball in particular, though his hiring wasn't praised unconditionally:

Anthony F. Irwin @AnthonyIrwinLA

I’ll put it this way: A competent organization makes someone the highest-paid assistant because that person is overqualified for their job. Jason Kidd is under-qualified to coach at his alma mater.

Kidd, 46, is a Hall of Famer who was a 10-time All-Star and won a title in the 2010-11 season, playing for the Dallas Mavericks twice, the Phoenix Suns, New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks.

After his playing career he spent one season as the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets (2013-14), making the postseason with the team, before spending parts of the next four seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks, reaching the postseason twice.

Now, he's arguably the most high-profile assistant coach in the NBA.