University of Michigan coach John Beilein has agreed to a five-year contract to become the Cleveland Cavaliers coach, league sources told ESPN. Beilein reached a deal with the Cavaliers on Sunday and informed Michigan’s administration of his decision to leave for the NBA on Monday morning, sources said.
Beilein, 66, has been entertaining thoughts about the NBA for several years and had detailed discussions with two franchises a year ago — Orlando and Detroit — before deciding to return to Michigan. Beilein didn’t want to move his wife that far from Michigan, and the Pistons borderline playoff roster with little financial flexibility to make changes made staying in-state less appealing. Cleveland’s rebuild status, based on point guard Collin Sexton and a 14 percent chance — along with New York and Phoenix — to earn the No. 1 pick in Tuesday’s NBA draft lottery were appealing to Beilein.
Jeff Goodman: John Beilein to the Cleveland Cavs, sources confirmed to @stadium. This does not completely surprise me. Remember, Mike Gansey is the No. 2 guy in the Cavs organization … and played for Beilein at West Virginia.
Jeremy Woo: Cavs owner Dan Gilbert went to Michigan State and has tried to hire Tom Izzo in the past. Asst GM Mike Gansey played for Beilein at West Virginia. Michigan’s player development has long been held in high regard by NBA types. With Poole/Brazdeikis likely gone to pros, all adds up.
Michigan coach John Beilein guided the Wolverines to the Final Four while Caris LeVert and Nik Stauskas were freshmen at the program, but that’s not the memory of Beilein that sticks with either Brooklyn Nets player. “I’ll always respect him because I think the first time I talked to him it was like a month or two before I went to school because I had a late recruitment,” LeVert said. “It was the first time I talked to him, and he told me, ‘We’ve got a lot of good players coming in, and you’ll probably redshirt.’ He told me that straight up, and I really appreciated him for that. He didn’t really sugarcoat anything. He could’ve told me I was going to come in and start. He could’ve told me anything just to get me to come there, but he told me straight up. He was like, ‘I think you’ll probably redshirt. We’ve got a lot of guys who I think honestly are better than you. You can come in and work for your spot, but we don’t need you as a program. We would love to have you, but we don’t need you. You’ll have to come in and work.’ I really respected that.”