John Beilein Rumors
Duncan Robinson has received clips prior to each game of these NBA Finals. Before Game 1, Robinson there was the video compilation from his former teammates at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. Before Game 2, there was one from teammates at Division III Williams College, where he played a season before transferring to Michigan. The Wolverines handled the Game 3 clip, which included former coach John Beilein. For Game 4, the messages came from the Middlesex Magic, Robinson’s old Boston-area AAU team. And prior to Game 5 on Friday night, with the Heat trailing the Lakers 3-1, the video montage was all family.
Bickerstaff will return as head coach after his 11-game showing last season; it’s the first time the Cavs have had the same coach in consecutive years since Tyronn Lue in 2018. That continuity is essential for a franchise that’s focused on turning into a consistent winner. According to the team source, Bickerstaff was always going to be the coach to lead Cleveland into the future; it just so happened that former head coach John Beilein didn’t make it through the year, so Bickerstaff got to grab the reins a bit earlier than anticipated. The Cavaliers are thrilled to see how Bickerstaff can push their team forward. He’s been in the NBA for 17 years, starting under his father, Bernie, as an assistant with the Charlotte Bobcats. He also had stints coaching the Minnesota Timberwolves, Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies. His head coaching experience with the Rockets and Grizzlies is a huge reason why Cleveland believed in him as its long-term solution, per the team source.
The Cavs will not do a salary dump for Love. They want some combination of draft picks and young, ascending players for Love. Now, in order to get that kind of haul, which many around the league continue to scoff at, the Cavs would likely need to take back a bloated salary. In that kind of package, the draft pick would be considered the Cavs’ sweetener in exchange for the other team’s bad, lengthier salary. It’s clear Cleveland’s view on Love doesn’t align with the rest of the league. That’s normal. The Cavs like him. They don’t regret the signing. They were expecting a monster season before his emotions intervened and 2019-20 went off the rails under John Beilein. But circumstances surrounding Love’s down year have changed and he’s set up to rebound. It could allow him to alter his trade value.
But the Cavs want to compete in 2020-21. This is Year 3 of the rebuild, the season everyone in the organization, including owner Dan Gilbert, has been pointing toward in hopes of taking the next step. Andre Drummond’s arrival at the deadline accelerates the rebuild timeline. Bickerstaff is locked in as head coach. The Cavs are expecting internal improvements from the core of youngsters and many of their top rotational pieces will be back. If the Cavs are going to take that next step and at least get closer to the playoff picture, they will need Love, their best — and most important — player. Plus, what’s the point of dumping Love? What would the Cavs do with that extra salary space? In a weak free agent class, there’s no one to sign, so no rush to move on from Love — unless the Cavs get a quality offer that makes them a better team in the short and long term.
Former Wolverines star Nik Stauskas spoke on the Big Ten Network’s Take Ten Podcast, in which he details meeting with his former coach John Beilein and warning him about the differences between college and the professional ranks. “I told him, ‘It’s different up there. They’re not going to listen to you and buy in the same way these 18-year-olds coming into Michigan will,” Stauskas continued, “‘it was more of like an ego-personality thing that you are going to be dealing with once you get to the NBA. You have guys making a lot of money, there’s entitlement, there are all of these different things there that aren’t necessarily at Michigan that you don’t have to deal with. So, I warned him of different things.’”
However, Stauskas said that Beilein remained “dead set” on being in the NBA, and feels badly for how soon it ended. “I knew he was still going to chase that dream because I mean, you can’t hold someone back. If that is their dream and they’re going to give it a try, go for it,” he said….”It was unfortunate, the way it all played out.”
The Cavs were eager to make him the offensive focal point once again. Privately, they were predicting a “monster” season under new head coach John Beilein. It was a chance for Love to recoup his value and start living up to his contract. Things didn’t go according to plan. Love clashed with Beilein, grew frustrated with the team’s lack of competitiveness and college environment, outwardly pouted when things turned acrimonious and wanted a trade.