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.
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.