Cavs reach out to Paul, Kidd about Scott
As Byron Scott establishes himself as the clear frontrunner for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ coaching vacancy, team executives have reached out to two of LeBron James’(notes) friends – Chris Paul(notes) and Jason Kidd(notes) – to discuss their former coach.
Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant and assistant GM Lance Blanks made an initial round of calls to New Jersey Nets and New Orleans Hornets officials to research Scott shortly after the firing of Mike Brown, but are now digging deeper as they inch closer to making him a formal offer.
The Cavs also had every one of the Nets’ 2002 and ’03 playoff games, including the Finals, sent to them for review, a source said.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was the No. 1 choice of owner Dan Gilbert, but Izzo’s belief that James won’t re-sign with the Cavaliers was mostly responsible for him turning down a $30 million package.
Scott had a combative history with Kidd while he coached the Nets, and ultimately Kidd played a part in the coach’s 2004 dismissal one season after the team made consecutive trips to the NBA Finals. Kidd had issues with Scott’s preparation but never had a personal problem with him. Still, it seemed doubtful Kidd would blast Scott to Blanks, who was making the calls.
As for Paul, he’s an immense supporter of Scott and never wanted him fired in New Orleans last season. Paul played his first four NBA seasons for Scott and remains close to him. Paul’s personal endorsement to James has gone a long way for Scott’s candidacy with the Cavaliers.
How quickly Scott would leap at a Cavaliers offer is still unclear. He remains mostly interested in trying to get the Los Angeles Lakers job should Phil Jackson retire after the Finals. Scott is a candidate for the Los Angeles Clippers job, too. Southern California is home for him, and he’s hesitant to jump at a Cavs offer without fully exploring the possibility of staying west.