Now, sources told The Athletic, the Cavs and Bickerstaff are working to set up an interview for next week. Bickerstaff, 40, would be the first candidate with previous NBA head-coaching experience to interview with Cleveland. But he fits an emerging profile of the Cavs’ coaching search in a number of ways, including his ties to the organization.
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There is at least one current NBA assistant with perhaps deeper ties to the organization than any of the above-mentioned candidates — current Denver assistant Jordi Fernandez — who has not yet been contacted for an interview. In January, The Athletic reported Fernandez would receive consideration from the Cavs. Cleveland.com reported Thursday the team still had interest in him But at age 36, Fernandez would be the youngest of the Cavs’ candidates, with also the least experience as a front-of-the-bench assistant. He’s third in the pecking order on Nuggets coach Michael Malone’s staff.
There is “zero truth” to the report about the Cleveland Cavaliers being interested in Hall-of-Famer Rick Pitino as their next head coach, multiple sources with the Cavaliers told cleveland.com Sunday morning. “We are, respectfully, not interested in him at all. No conversations with him by Dan (Gilbert) or anyone else,” a source said.
According to sources, the Cavs would like to speak with a few candidates on playoff teams and will likely begin that process at the end of the first round. General manager Koby Altman said during his end-of-season press conference that the team will be patient and respectful of coaches still in the postseason. There is no timeline for when the Cavs would like to have a coach in place.
The Cavaliers are expected to meet with assistants on teams involved in the playoffs later, sources said. Cleveland general manager Koby Altman is planning to meet with an expansive list of candidates to replace interim coach Larry Drew.
Cleveland Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman and Head Coach Larry Drew announced on Thursday, April 11 they have mutually agreed that Drew will not return as the team’s head coach next season. Drew’s current contract expired with the conclusion of the 2018-19 Cavaliers season.
“We have great respect and appreciation for Larry and the job that he did as the head coach of the Cavaliers for nearly the entire 2018-19 campaign. He brought professionalism, class and steady leadership both this past season and prior four years,” said Altman.
Chris Fedor: Source: #Cavs offered Larry Drew chance to be part of their extensive coaching search, considering him one of the many candidates they wanted to talk with about being head coach. Drew respectfully declined.
Adrian Wojnarowski: As expected, Cavaliers opening search for a new head coach. Cleveland plans to run a wide-ranging process, but expect experienced NBA assistants like Utah’s Alex Jensen, Portland’s David Vanterpool and Nate Tibbetts, Denver’s Wes Unseld Jr., to be among multiple candidates.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham is expected to be another assistant who’ll start getting more attention for head coaching jobs, including with the Cavaliers, league sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Cleveland is expected to examine the college head coaching ranks too, sources said. Player development will likely be one of the premium factors in the hiring process.
Shams Charania: Sources: The Cavaliers and head coach Larry Drew have mutually parted ways.
Marla Ridenour: #Cavs coach Larry Drew said he hopes this is not his last game. Said he “checked all the boxes” of what he hoped to accomplish, is proud of job he did
Even if the Cavaliers lose their finale Tuesday night, finish the season on a 10-game losing streak and tie the franchise’s fourth-worst record ever, coach Larry Drew will have by all accounts done a remarkable job. He’s also most likely about to be out of one. The Cavs have said nothing publicly of Drew’s future on this team, though they’ve done nothing to give anyone the idea that he will return. Drew said before the Cavs were pounded 112-90 by the Spurs on Sunday that there’s been “no discussion about my future, and we’ve decided to wait until the season is completely over before we discuss that.”
If either side were serious about continuing this partnership into next season, someone would have, at least in passing, said something to the other about it. Neither has. If this changes and somehow Drew is retained, NBA insiders across the United States would be shocked.
“I think he’d be great for the future, but, I don’t even know if he wants it,” Love said. “He knows that I have his back and I think a lot of the guys have his back.” Nance said: “I think we’ve made pretty awesome strides and I think everyone would kind of agree with that, that we’ve made awesome strides. I’m a Larry Drew fan.” And Sexton: “He’s done a tremendous job with us.” The Cavs’ front office would agree. This team, with a massive amount of injuries and a roster that is sure to change dramatically over the next two years, hung together and improved under Drew. He’ll surely be thanked for his efforts, and, he’ll receive the buyout he publicly shamed the organization into giving him when Tyronn Lue was fired and Drew was named his replacement.
But Walton could look elsewhere for opportunities, given the apparent dysfunction in Phoenix. According to sources, the Cavaliers will seek a coach who can develop the franchise’s young players, particularly point guard Collin Sexton and whomever the Cavs select in this year’s draft. Should Cleveland land a top-three pick, the job will look much better.
First-time coaches: Given their own needs and seeing some recent success from other rebuilding franchises, the Cavs will most likely go in this direction. Atlanta seems to have found its franchise leader for the new era, hiring Lloyd Pierce, a guy on the coaching radar for years. He is the kind of leader that will be able to grow with the team’s young nucleus. James Borrego worked his way up and ultimately landed with the Charlotte Hornets. J.B. Bickerstaff is another example. And while Kenny Atkinson was a bit older and more seasoned, based on a few years overseas following a well-traveled playing career, his work in player development has a few NBA teams, including the Cavs, wondering if there’s another out there. Jordi Fernandez, Denver Nuggets – Fernandez seems to check a lot of boxes for Cleveland. He’s 36 years old, the kind of coach who can relate with the numerous youngsters on the roster. Player development will be key in this search and Fernandez spent four years on the Cavaliers staff in that capacity before becoming an assistant in the G League.
Adrian Griffin, Toronto Raptors – Interviewed by Cleveland during its 2014 search, the Cavs couldn’t quite figure out if Griffin was truly ready for the lead role. At that time, he was working alongside Tom Thibodeau, an omnipresent coach and dominant personality. Since leaving Thibodeau’s side, Griffin, 44, has been able to grow, having gained experience as an assistant in Orlando, Oklahoma City, Toronto and Team USA. Jimmy Butler has talked about Griffin’s role in his rise to stardom. That fits the team’s desire to find someone known for player development. Griffin also comes from a few winning programs, where he has seen what it takes to create that kind of culture. That will also be appealing to the Cavs.
Drew was shocked when Lue was fired and initially resisted taking the job until the Cavs added more money to his contract, including a small financial guarantee for next season. He’s not sure he’d want the job if asked to return next year, which does not appear likely. “I don’t know if I ever want to be a head coach again after this year,” Drew told The Athletic.
Meanwhile, the Cavs’ front office, led by general manager Koby Altman, would likely target a first-time NBA head coach with experience developing players and/or coaching in the G League, multiple sources with knowledge of their thinking said. Cleveland has not reached out directly to candidates or their agents and is in the early stages of its search, sources said. But there are no fewer than six candidates who fit the above criteria with ties to Altman and the Cavs’ organization.
They are: current Nuggets assistant Jordi Fernandez, 36, who was the head coach for the Cavs’ G League affiliate in Canton from 2014-16; Hornets assistant Steve Hetzel, 38, who coached the Charge from 2013-14; Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin, 44, who interviewed to be the Cavs’ head coach when they hired David Blatt in 2014; Hawks assistant Chris Jent, 49, a former player development coach in Cleveland; Mavericks assistant Jamahl Mosley, 40, who was a Cavs assistant from 2010-14; and Jazz assistant Alex Jensen, 42, who coached Canton from 2011-13.
Drew and the Cavaliers have been negotiating a solution to the issues that surrounded his reluctance to accept the interim role without receiving more guaranteed money than the customary bump up in assistant-coaching salary that Drew will get to finish out this season.
The Cavaliers’ preference likely will be to conduct a search and target a coach to direct the franchise’s rebuild, but Drew has the trust and respect of the Cavaliers veterans and remains essential to get them through what promises to be a trying season.
Joe Vardon: By the way, Larry Drew is the head coach of the Cavs now, not the interim. This is my fifth year covering this team. Third coach
Joe Gabriele: Drew: “I’ve been in this situation before – both as a player and as a coach – and I know the importance of having defined leadership on board. Players look at things in a difference perspective if they don’t feel that whoever is in charge is going to be part of their future.”
John Denton: More @Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Larry Drew on his new contract: “It was good that it did happen and now there’s clarity. There’s clarity and just no gray area. Because there’s no gray area, me and my staff can roll our sleeves up and give our all into helping this team be successful.”
The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed Larry Drew to a new head coaching contract. The announcement was made from Cleveland Clinic Courts on Monday, November 5 by Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman.
“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Coach Drew to continue leading the team on the court. He brings important experience and many qualities that we expect to translate well with our team as the head coach,” said Altman. “We’re looking forward to the ways he can impact the team and help our players continue to grow and find success.”
Joe Vardon: No Cavs assistant was given additional security as part of Drew deal. He’ll get a buyout if they don’t want him to be coach next season
Adrian Wojnarowski: Larry Drew and Cavaliers have agreed on a deal for rest of season and partial guarantee for next season, league sources tell ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Drew will be the head coach for rest of this season and has an agreement for 2019-20 if Cavs choose to keep him — or will get a buyout payment should team decide to move on to a new coach, sources said.
Marla Ridenour: #Cavs acting coach Larry Drew said progress being made in his contract negotiations & he’s happy things are moving in the right direction
Marla Ridenour: #Cavs owner Dan Gilbert on acting coach Larry Drew wanted his contract restructured: “I think Larry Drew is one of my favorite guys, favorite coaches, but I just don’t think it’s appropriate to comment on Koby (Altman’s) and Larry Drew’s negotiations.”
Rick Noland: Love said he hopes Drew “gets that contract locked in” and added “I would love for him to be the coach”
Rick Noland: Love: “Honestly, if not for Ty, I don’t know if I’d still be here. He’s one of those guys who will always be very important in my career”
Marla Ridenour: #Cavs acting coach Larry Drew “ very disappointed” has not received a restructured contract. Cavs said it’s possible could bring in someone, he would go back to to associate HC. “ I would never quit.”
Tom Withers: Drew says he will “remain professional” and does not plan to quit. He has been told it’s possible team may bring someone in and he would remain as assistant. #Cavs
Marla Ridenour: #Cavs Drew said this is different than last season when Lue was out with health issues. Knew then Lue would be back. “This is almost the whole season.”
Rick Noland: Drew said he and Miller have talked to Cavs, and said team would be willing to let him go back to bench if someone else is hired as interim coach. “If that happens, I’m fine with that. My contract is over in July”
Joe Vardon: Larry Drew said he’s ‘very disappointed’ the Cavs have not yet given him the new contract he wants to be interim coach
The reasons for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ dismissal of Tyronn Lue are numerous. Near the top of the list: general manager Koby Altman believing this group – an unusual mixture of veterans and young players – needed a new voice. In the short term, that’s Larry Drew.
Bobby Marks: Re: Cleveland coaching situation (Cavaliers and not Browns): Having gone through it 5 times, the common protocol is for the lead assistant to get a nice pay raise attached with the interim tag. Rarely does the IHC get extended long term or named permanent HC.
“I’m not the interim coach,” Drew said emphatically. “I’m the voice right now. I’m sure you guys are aware that there are some talks that are going on. I don’t know if any type of agreement or settlement will be made. I am prepared either way. I’ll continue to do my job, but right now there’s not been any type of agreement.”
Along with his agent, Andy Miller, Drew has been in frequent discussions with general manager Koby Altman about restructuring his deal — a necessity for Drew to take on this bigger role full time.
According to Altman, having Drew in charge for the rest of the year is one option. But Altman didn’t want to get into the specifics of those conversations. “It’s not fair to get into negotiations, especially doing it publicly through the media. That’s not fair to Larry, it’s not fair to his representation,” he said. “But again, he’s an asset and we’re happy to have him right now.”
Cayleigh Griffin: “I would like to be a part of it long term to be perfectly honest. I’ve been part of the rebuilding process as a player…Rebuilding isn’t an easy thing to do…it takes some time and I’d like to be a part of it. It doesn’t happen overnight…but I’m committed to it.” -Coach Drew pic.twitter.com/2AVg9gUkzC
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May 23, 2019 | 2:47 pm EDT Update
Chris Mannix: Kevin Durant is unlikely to be ready to play when the NBA Finals open on May 30th, per Warriors. Team is hopeful he can return during the series. @Kevin Durant has yet to begin on-court activities.
Mark Kreidler: Warriors announce that Durant hasn’t been cleared to return to on-court activity. Team says it’s “hopeful” that “at some point” he plays in NBA Finals. Cousins is more likely at this point.
Mark Medina: Warriors say they “anticipate” DeMarcus Cousins will play at some point in the NBA Finals. Warriors they are “hopeful” Kevin Durant plays at some point in the NBA Finals. But nothing is certain. Warriors will re-evaluate both players on Wednesday
Tim Bontemps: The NBA has announced its All-NBA teams. By being named to one of the three teams, Damian Lillard is now eligible for four-year, $191 million extensions this summer, and Kemba Walker is eligible to sign a five-year, $221 million deal as a free agent July 1. No Beal or Thompson.
Rod Boone: It’s third-team Alll-NBA team honors for Kemba Walker. That means he’s eligible for the supermax contract, which in his case is five years, $221 million. Equates to a salary of $38.2 million per season. Now GM Mitch Kupchak has the financial parameters he must work with.
Christopher Hine: The league just released its All-NBA teams. Karl-Anthony Towns DID NOT make it. Rudy Gobert beat him out for the third team. His 5-year extension will be worth around $158 million instead of $190 million.