Former Lakers executive Ronnie Lester joins Phoenix Suns

Two years after the Lakers let him go as a cost-cutting measure before the NBA lockout, former assistant general manager has joined the Phoenix Suns’ scouting staff.

The Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro described Lester’s duties as a “master evaluator” and will help in other “unspecified roles.” Lester had spent 10 seasons with the Lakers as an assistant GM after first starting as a regional scout in 1987. But the Lakers didn’t renew his contract following the 2010-11 season, a move the team made to 20 employees ranging from team trainers and almost the entire scouting staff before the lockout.

Lester publicly criticized the Lakers for how they handled such layoffs.

“Ronnie was a dear friend and I thought we really worked well together,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in his 2012 exit interview. “But the people that I work with now I have a great relationship with and you have to move on.”

The Lakers have since hired Glenn Carraro as the team’s assistant general manager after spending the 2011-12 season as both the director of basketball administration for the Lakers and as general manager of the D-Fenders, the Lakers’ affiliate in the Development League.

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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