NBA players are not the only ones set to make big money this offseason. The salary cap is expected to blow up from $70 million to $92 million, meaning the vast majority of free agents this summer will be getting a significant bump in pay.
As we learned with Tom Thibodeau signing on with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Scott Brooks landing with the Washington Wizards, the head coaches are also earning themselves a nice pay day this offseason.
The Los Angeles Lakers added the latest member to that list, hiring their former player and current Golden State Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton. In order for it to happen, the Lakers had to create an opening for the job by parting ways with Byron Scott.
Scott had a four-year contract with the Lakers, with a team option after both the second and third seasons, giving the team a way out if the experiment failed. This led many to wonder what the contract would be like for their next head coach.
According to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, Walton is getting a much better deal.
Luke Walton's contract to coach the Lakers will be for five years and about $25 million.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) April 30, 2016
Walton is getting virtually the same deal as his mentor and Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. He is believed to be a great long-term solution for the Lakers, so it makes sense that he would get a five-year deal, taking over a team that won just 17 games this season. ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that the deal is guaranteed for four years and includes incentives.
There is renewed excitement and buzz in Los Angeles with the return of Walton, but he will certainly need time and patience to rebuild the Lakers into a contender once again. Walton understands that he has his work cut out, but he is ready for the challenge.