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Mike Brown, Cleveland Cavaliers negotiating a reunion

April 23, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • Mike Brown could soon be reunited with his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. There have been multiple reports that the ex-Lakers coach and the team are negotiating a deal.
Mike Brown could soon be reunited with his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)

Former Lakers coach Mike Brown is expected to be the next coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to multiple reports.

Brown took over for Phil Jackson in 2011, managing the Lakers through the lockout-shortened season. After starting the 2012-13 campaign 1-4, Brown was discharged by the team, which eventually replaced him with   Mike D'Antoni (after a  brief  flirtation with Jackson).

The Cavaliers fired Byron Scott on Thursday after the team's 24-58 season.

Brown previously coached the Cavs from 2005 to 2010, making an NBA Finals appearance in 2007 with LeBron James. He was named NBA coach of the year in 2009.

The Lakers still owe Brown in the neighborhood of $6 million to $7 million, his full salary for the 2013-14 season and a partial amount for the following year.

If Brown and the Cavaliers can cement an agreement, some of the Lakers' debt to Brown will be offset. Exact figures aren't clear but a rough estimate would have the Lakers saving between $3 million and $4 million.

To date, the Lakers maintain D'Antoni will return as coach next season. Would the Brown economics change their position?

As the Lakers try to get past the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs, the team isn't going to give any indication that D'Antoni's job is in trouble.

The actual decision may be tied to what free-agent center Dwight Howard wants to do in July.  What if he wants a long-term future with the Lakers but not for D'Antoni? Would Howard even take that approach?

Certainly, getting a large portion of Brown's money off the team's books would be a welcome development for the Lakers, but it may not directly affect  D'Antoni's future.

For now, the message is that D'Antoni will indeed return for the 2013-14 season.

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Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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