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Next Lakers coach won't make Phil Jackson-type salary

New coach can expect an annual salary of $3 million to $5 million, well below the $10 million to $12 million that Jackson earned. One reason is desire to conserve money ahead of potential lockout.

May 23, 2011|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Whoever becomes the next Lakers coach probably will be making less than half of what Phil Jackson was being paid in salary.
Whoever becomes the next Lakers coach probably will be making less than… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

The Lakers have yet to pare down a short list of coaching candidates but one thing is certain.

The winner of their coaching derby won't make anything remotely close to what Phil Jackson earned the last several years.

Jackson topped out at $12 million in 2009-10 before taking a pay cut last season to about $10 million.

The new Lakers coach can expect an annual salary of $3 million to $5 million, according to people who are familiar with what the Buss family is thinking. That is barely half what Jackson made in a best-case scenario for the new hire.

Photos: Phil Jackson through the years

It still projects to an increase from the average NBA head coach salary range of $2 million to $4 million. Candidates for the Lakers job include Rick Adelman, Mike Dunleavy, Jeff Van Gundy, Mike Brown and Lakers assistant Brian Shaw.

One of the reasons for the pay cut is the Lakers' desire to conserve money as the NBA owners' lockout moves closer to reality. The deadline for a new collective-bargaining deal is only five weeks away, and there is little to no momentum in negotiations between players and owners.

The Lakers have already informed more than a dozen employees from their scouting department, athletic training staff and video department that their contracts will not be renewed.

The Lakers have typically paid their coaches well, understandably rewarding Jackson for his years of success but also handing Rudy Tomjanovich a five-year contract worth $30 million when he took over in 2004 after Jackson's first tour with the team.

The high-spending trend officially ended with Jackson's departure after his second run with the team.

The Lakers already have the NBA's largest player payroll for next season, committing a guaranteed $87.6 million to eight players as their roster stands now. Not included are Matt Barnes and Shannon Brown, who have player options for next season worth a combined $4.3 million. Also not included are team options next season totaling $1.6 million for Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter.

The Lakers aren't expected to interview any outside candidates for their coaching job until next week at the earliest.

Photos: Phil Jackson through the years

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan

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