The Lakers announced several front office promotions on Friday, officially naming Ryan West Director of Player Personnel, Jesse Buss Assistant General Manager/Director of Scouting, and Clay Moser Assistant Coach/Director of Basketball Strategy.
We originally touched on the West promotion in this space, so this is not necessarily new news. Investing in West, in my opinion, is a smart move as he brings both youth and experience to the table and is, seemingly, well regarded around the league.
The Moser move was also expected, as reported by Bill Oram back in July. From Oram’s report:
Assistant coach and advance scout Clay Moser is expected to transition from the bench to the front office in a sort of liaison position, which previously did not exist within the organization. A team spokesman confirmed Monday that the move is in the works.
The responsibilities of the role have been among those heaped upon assistant coach Mark Madsen. The plan with Moser, however, is to facilitate a pipeline of ideas with a basketball person in the front office.
Having Moser in place to help bridge the gap between the analytics staff and the coaches is an investment worth making — should it translate to actual implementation and/or affect strategy by the coaches. I have my doubts Byron Scott will suddenly turn around 180 degrees on his views towards the usefulness of analytics (read the full Oram piece above for more background), but it’s worth a shot.
The Jesse Buss promotion is the only other front office change that wasn’t on the radar before. He’s had “Assistant GM” added to his title (he was already the Scouting Director), but it’s unclear if his duties are actually changing. The Lakers already have an Assistant GM in place — Glenn Carraro was appointed to that role in 2012. This isn’t to minimize the impact of Buss’ promotion, rather it’s meant to provide more context and background.