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#pounditSunday, September 26, 2021

Articles tagged: Cleveland Cavaliers

Dan Gilbert thinks Cavs ‘killed it’ with Kyrie Irving trade

Kyrie Irving

The Cleveland Cavaliers would have had a much better chance of winning another championship with LeBron James if they ignored Kyrie Irving’s trade demand, but team owner Dan Gilbert does not regret the way the situation unfolded.

In an interview with Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer this week, Gilbert said the Cavs had no choice but to trade Irving two years ago because he was threatening to undergo knee surgery and skip the season. Irving ended up missing the playoffs last year with the Boston Celtics because he needed two knee procedures, so Gilbert feels that is proof there was an actual issue. He also believes Irving will leave Boston as a free agent this summer, and that is one of the reasons he is pleased with the outcome of the trade.

“I don’t know, but I think Kyrie will leave Boston,” Gilbert said. “We could have ended up with nothing. Looking back after all the moves (GM Koby Altman) made, we killed it in that trade.”

The Cavs got the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round pick in last year’s draft as part of the Irving trade, and they used it to draft Collin Sexton. The point guard averaged 16.7 points per game and earned All-Rookie Second Team honors this year. Cleveland also got Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic in the deal. Both Thomas and Crowder were traded months after the Cavs acquired them, and Zizic serves as the team’s backup center.

You can look at the Irving trade a number of different ways. If he truly was going to sit out the entire 2017-18 season and then leave via free agency, the Cavs made the right choice. If they could have somehow convinced him to play one more season, they would have had a better shot at winning another title with LeBron.

Even if the Cavs didn’t “kill it” with the Irving trade, the All-Star point guard clearly had problems with his teammates in Boston this season. That has to make Gilbert feel better about the Cavs moving on from him when they did.

Cavs hire JB Bickerstaff as associate head coach

JB Bickerstaff

JB Bickerstaff was fired as the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies this year following a 33-49 season, but he was not unemployed for very long.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Cleveland Cavaliers have hired Bickerstaff to join new head coach John Beilein’s staff. Wojnarowski also notes that Bickerstaff drew interest from several prominent teams for assistant coaching roles, but he was intrigued by the idea of helping Beilein adjust to the NBA.

Bickerstaff was an associate head coach with the Grizzlies before being promoted to head coach in 2017. He was an assistant coach and interim head coach for the Houston Rockets prior to that.

Unlike Bickerstaff, Beilein has no prior experience coaching in the NBA. Bickerstaff should be a valuable asset for a 66-year-old coach making the transition to the pros.

John Beilein sends farewell note to Michigan after taking Cavs job

John Beilein

John Beilein stunned the basketball world on Monday when he agreed to a deal to become the next head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the longtime Michigan coach must now say farewell to the place he has called home since 2007.

Shortly after news surfaced that he is heading to Cleveland, Beilein took to Twitter to thank the Michigan community for its support.

Beilein was linked to the Detroit Pistons job last offseason, but he eventually withdrew from consideration and said he did not anticipate being interested in any NBA opportunities going forward. Obviously, that changed in a hurry.

The Cavaliers were reportedly interested in Rick Pitino and some other smaller names, but Beilein was not mentioned throughout their search. It sounds like the agreement is one that truly did come together quickly, and you can’t blame Michigan fans for being extremely disappointed about it.

Michigan’s John Beilein to be named next head coach of Cavaliers

John Beilein

The Cleveland Cavaliers have found their next head coach, and the hire is sending shockwaves across the basketball world.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that John Beilein, who has been the men’s basketball coach at the University of Michigan since 2007, has agreed to a five-year deal to become the head coach of the Cavs.

There had been rumblings that the Cavs were interested in Rick Pitino and some other smaller names, but Beilein was not believed to be considering NBA opportunities. The 66-year-old was linked to the Detroit Pistons job last offseason and said his interest was legitimate, noting how he could have taken the job and remained in Michigan close to his family.

After he withdrew from consideration for the Pistons job, Beilein said he did not anticipate meeting with NBA teams again in the future.

Beilein won two Big Ten tournaments and reached the Final Four two times at Michigan, most recently in 2018. He will finish his career with the Wolverines with an overall record of 278-150.

Cavs to interview Spurs assistant Ime Udoka for head coach vacancy

The Cleveland Cavaliers continue to look for a new head coach and will be interviewing San Antonio Spurs assistant Ime Udoka.

According to Cleveland.com reporter Chris Fedor, the interview between Udoka and the Cavs will take place on Sunday.

Udoka, 41, played in the NBA from 2003-2011. He spent three seasons with the Spurs, which helped open the door for him to join their coaching staff in 2012. They won a championship in 2014 with him on staff.

Udoka, who played with LaMarcus Aldridge in Portland, is credited with being a factor in Aldridge choosing to join the Spurs in 2015.

The Cavs are searching for a new head coach after they parted ways with Larry Drew following the season. Drew had replaced Ty Lue, who was fired after an 0-6 start.

In addition to Udoka, Juwan Howard was reported to be a possible candidate. There was also a report about Rick Pitino talking with the team.

Report: Rick Pitino, Cavaliers have mutual interest

Rick Pitino

Is Rick Pitino eyeing a job in the NBA now that many of the college basketball coaching vacancies have been filled? That could be the case.

Veteran NBA reporter Peter Vecsey reported on his Patreon page Saturday night that Pitino and the Cleveland Cavaliers have spoken. He says there is mutual interest between owner Dan Gilbert and Pitino, though it’s unclear for what kind of position. You can read the full report at Vecsey’s Patreon.

Pitino, 66, has been coaching in Greece since December. He led Panathinaikos to a Greek Cup victory and is coaching them in the EuroLeague playoffs.

Pitino was fired by Louisville in Oct. 2017 after being involved in a scandal involving the payment to a recruit who ended up at the school. He previously got into trouble with the NCAA and has a championship and Final Four appearance vacated over a sex scandal.

One of the best college coaches ever, Pitino has won two national championships — one in 1996 and Kentucky and another in 2013 with Louisville, which was vacated. He had two separate coaching stints in the NBA. He coached the Knicks for two seasons from 1987-1989. He coached the Celtics from 1997-2001 before resigning in the middle of his fourth season.

After being tied to some coaching vacancies, Pitino said earlier this month that he was not interested in leaving Europe for a college job. In October, he did express interest in returning to the NBA.

The Cavaliers are looking for a new head coach after parting ways with Larry Drew, who replaced Ty Lue, who was fired after an 0-6 start to the season.

Report: Juwan Howard is candidate for Cavaliers job

Cleveland Cavaliers logo

The Cleveland Cavaliers are beginning their hiring process for a new head coach, and one prominent name is in the mix.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Miami Heat assistant Juwan Howard is a target in the coaching search, but the list of candidates is “expansive.”

Dallas assistant Jamahl Mosley is also a candidate, while Utah’s Alex Jensen and Portland’s David Vanterpool are also set to be interviewed once the team is able to work around their playoff schedules.

The Cavaliers parted ways with head coach Larry Drew last week. This search sounds like it may take a while and include a lot of names.

Doc Rivers amusingly hints at Cavaliers’ tanking ambitions

Doc Rivers

The Cleveland Cavaliers have had a rough year in the first campaign of the post-LeBron James era, and there are a lot of people who think it may well be by design.

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers is not necessarily one of those people. He’s also not denying it, either.

The Cavaliers are 19-54. That isn’t even the worst record in the East, however, as the team below them has had to answer tanking questions even more awkwardly and directly than the Cavaliers have. Cleveland at least has some bright spots, and they’ve even managed to win two of three, including a win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

NBA finds no wrongdoing in Cavaliers’ Patrick McCaw signing

Cleveland Cavaliers logo

No rules were broken by the Cleveland Cavaliers in their signing of restricted free agent Patrick McCaw, an NBA investigation concluded.

The league announced that there was nothing wrong with Cleveland’s handling of McCaw. The Cavaliers signed the restricted free agent to a two-year non-guaranteed offer sheet before waiving him after just three games, sparking speculation that Cleveland did him a favor to allow him to become an unrestricted free agent as quickly as possible.

McCaw has since joined the Toronto Raptors, and the league has determined that there was no circumvention or conspiracy. That effectively closes the matter.

Cavs had anti-Steph Curry shoe policy during rival with Warriors

Stephen Curry

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors developed quite the rivalry before LeBron James left his hometown a second time, and that apparently led to some strict footwear policies.

In a feature he wrote this week for Bleacher Report entitled “The Politics of Kicks,” Ric Bucher shed some light on how seriously NBA players take their sneakers. While plenty of players who don’t have their own shoe deals wear the signature shoes of other players, it is apparently frowned upon to do so when you’re going against said sneaker endorser. For example, Draymond Green told Warriors third-string center Kevon Looney he could not wear James Harden’s Adidas shoes during a game against the Houston Rockets last season.

Looney recalled equipment manager Eric Housen replacing his shoes before the game without his knowledge.

“Draymond says you can’t wear them,” Housen told Looney. “They’re James Harden’s shoe, and he says you can’t wear the shoe of a guy you’re playing against.”

Green said the policy is “not a team rule at all,” but he believes it’s impossible to gain the respect of an opponent if you’re wearing his shoe. The Cavs apparently felt the same way, as they had a strict policy regarding Stephen Curry’s Under Armour shoes over the past several years.

It was understood more than plainly stated, leaving one member of the Cavs’ Finals roster last year unaware of the rule—but only, perhaps, because he never considered wearing UAs. Another former Cavalier texted: “There was no way anyone on [Cleveland] the last few years would wear [them], for the obvious reasons.”

It became very obvious that Curry was not the most popular person in Cleveland’s locker room, and that is no surprise given how often the two teams squared off. While you might think changing up footwear on principle is a bit excessive, it makes sense for a player to avoid doing anything that might give his opponent a mental edge.