INDEPENDENCE — Whether he was their sec-ond or third choice may never be known for sure, but the Cavaliers on Thursday agreed to contract terms with Byron Scott, who will become the 18th head coach in franchise history.
Details of Scott’s contract were not released, but it is believed to be a four-year deal.
The Cavaliers are expected to formally introduce the 49-year-old this afternoon at a press conference at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
After firing Mike Brown, Cleveland first offered the job to Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, who turned down a five-year, $30 million deal.
The Cavaliers then ap-peared to be on the verge of hiring Los Angeles Lakers assistant Brian Shaw, but a sudden change of events took place.
Agent Jerome Stanley claims Shaw withdrew his name from consideration on Wednesday afternoon, but the Cavaliers will no doubt claim they never offered the 44-year-old a contract and bill Scott as their top choice after Izzo.
Scott, who reached an agreement with the Cavaliers on Wednesday night and Thursday morning during a negotiating session while on a family trip in Arkansas, spent 10 seasons coaching the New Jersey Nets and New Orleans Hornets.
He led the Nets to back-to-back trips to the NBA Finals in 2002 and ‘03 and was named NBA Coach of the Year in 2007-08 while with New Orleans.
Scott, who got along great with Hornets guard Chris Paul, Cleveland free agent LeBron James’ closest friend in the league, favors an up-tempo offense but isn’t regarded as a defensive guru. Scott’s work ethic was also questioned while he was with New Jersey.
Scott was fired by New Orleans nine games into the 2009-10 season and became an analyst for ESPN. He spent 14 seasons as an NBA player and was part of three championship teams with the Showtime era Lakers.
Shaw, a former player who has no head coaching experience, will likely continue as an assistant to Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who announced Thursday he will return to the bench in 2010-11.
Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.