The Los Angeles Lakers have started negotiating with Byron Scott to become their next head coach, according to a person familiar with the situation.
There has not been a formal contract offer, but the Lakers consider Scott to be their preferred candidate and are hoping to come to an agreement soon.
“It could be a few hours or it could happen next week,” said the person, who asked not to be identified.
Scott has coached three teams, most recently Cleveland in 2012-13, where he was fired and replaced by former Lakers coach Mike Brown.
Scott, 53, has a tight relationship with Kobe Bryant and recognition from Lakers fans who remember his smooth stroke on the “Showtime” teams of the 1980s.
Bryant gave Scott a thumbs-up for the job earlier this month, calling his former teammate a “rookie mentor” who made Bryant fetch donuts and run other errands as a young player.
“We’ve had a tremendously close relationship throughout the years,” Bryant said. “So obviously I know him extremely well, he knows me extremely well and I’ve always been a fan of his.”
The Lakers have been without a coach since Mike D’Antoni resigned April 30, accepting a payout of about half the $4 million he was owed next season.
• Xavier Henry has agreed to a one-year deal to return to the Lakers.
Henry, a four-year veteran, averaged career highs with 10.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists in the swingman’s first season with the Lakers despite numerous injuries that limited him to 43 games.
MAGIC: Orlando filled out its backcourt with the signing of free-agent guard Luke Ridnour.
Ridnour, 33, is expected to serve as Orlando’s third point guard behind Victor Oladipo and rookie Elfrid Payton. He appeared in 61 games last season with Milwaukee and Charlotte.
HORNETS: Charlotte re-signed veteran point guard Jannero Pargo.
Pargo joined the team in March 2013 and has played in 47 games for the Hornets, averaging 6.1 points and 1.8 assists in 11.4 minutes. He is expected to be the No. 3 point guard behind Kemba Walker and recently signed Brian Roberts.