Former Los Angeles Lakers player and head coach Byron Scott applauded Los Angeles’ offseason and expects the team to make the 2024 NBA Finals, barring injuries.
“I like ’em,” Scott told Brandon Robinson when asked for his thoughts on the Lakers’ offseason moves. “I like ’em. I love what they did in the offseason. You got to give Rob Pelinka a lot of credit. I think right now he’s Executive of the Year for what he was able to bring to the table. So I’m looking at that purple and gold, and I said this at the golf tournament the other day, I’ll be surprised if they’re not in the NBA Finals barring injuries and all that that we always know happens during the regular season, but very excited about the Purple and Gold this year.”
The Lakers were very active in free agency earlier this offseason. They signed former Miami Heat guard Gabe Vincent, former New Orleans Pelicans big man Jaxson Hayes, former Portland Trail Blazers wing Cam Reddish and former Minnesota Timberwolves wing Taurean Prince.
Additionally, the Lakers re-signed guard Austin Reaves to a four-year, $54 million deal.
Scott, 62, coached the storied Lakers franchise for two seasons, from the 2014-15 season through the 2015-16 season. The Lakers didn’t enjoy much success with Scott as their head coach, however, as they went 38-126 in 164 regular-season games under him, which equates to a winning percentage of 23.2.
But Scott isn’t the only person to blame for the Lakers’ struggles during his time as head coach. Los Angeles simply didn’t have much talent on the roster, and Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was in the twilight of his career during Scott’s stint and wasn’t the same superstar player he once was.
Before Scott entered the NBA’s head coaching ranks, he enjoyed a very successful playing career with the Lakers. He spent 11 of his 14 seasons in the NBA with the iconic franchise and averaged 15.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game across 846 total regular-season appearances as a Laker (714 starts).
Arguably Scott’s best season as a Laker came during the 1987-88 season, as he averaged a career-high 21.7 points per game to go along with 4.1 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game in 81 games played during the regular season. Scott scored the ball very efficiently from the field, as he converted 52.7 percent of his field-goal attempts.
Only time will tell if Scott’s Lakers NBA Finals prediction will come true. But his prediction has a great chance of coming to fruition, seeing as the Lakers are better on paper than they were a season ago.