A surprising development turned into a surprising reality, as it seems that the Cleveland Cavaliers’ head coaching search has come to an end on Tuesday. According to sources close to the situation, former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown will be shedding the anaphoric title, and the two sides are currently working on a five-year deal as reported first by Jason Lloyd of the Akron-Beacon Journal. Five years is just the length of the contract that has been floating around, as Lloyd has only confirmed that a handshake agreement has been made. Lloyd believes that the deal will come on Wednesday. Adrian Wojnarowski also reported that the deal would be worth $20 million-plus.
If you came to this post hoping to discuss the likelihood of LeBron James returning to Cleveland with the announcement of this principle deal, you came to the wrong place. The Cavs have made it clear that they are focused on the now instead of the future and won’t let a player who isn’t even on the roster control the decisions they make in the present. We’ve heard all season long that LeBron has flirted with the idea of opting out of his contract with the Miami Heat in the summer of 2014 and testing the free agency market. Because of the “fallout” that James had with Brown, many have discussed that it would hurt Cleveland’s chances of corralling the Miami superstar and reigning MVP next summer if they decided on Brown as their head coach. Again, this is the now and it would be ridiculous if the front office had this kind of thought process.
After firing Byron Scott after three seasons with the squad – he had one extension year left on his contract – due to a compiled record of 64-166, a sluggish finish to this past season and the need for a defensive-minded leader, Cleveland began their search for a head coach right away, and Brown’s name was the first to surface. Scott believed that he didn’t receive a fair shake, and I agree, but unfortunately that is the nature of the head coaching position in the NBA. Just check out RDE writer Trevor Magnotti’s coach-firing manifesto. With the team’s best defensive asset by far in Anderson Varejao missing close to 150 games in Scott’s tenure with the team, it was no wonder that his squads ranked 29th, t-26th and t-26th respectively in defensive efficiency. In Brown’s final four seasons coaching the Cavaliers before being fired, his team’s ranked fifth, t-second and seventh in that same category in three of those four seasons.
Even back-to-back 60-win seasons couldn’t keep Brown safe in his first go-around with the Cavaliers, as playoff and offensive struggles and the urge to lure LeBron back to Cleveland kept the Wine and Gold from retaining him. Overall, he holds the highest winning percentage in the regular season (66.3 percent) and playoffs (59.2 percent) in franchise history. Unlike his start with the team in 2005, Brown will be inheriting a team that is nowhere close to being playoff-ready, but he once again has inherited a franchise superstar in Kyrie Irving. Brown led the Wine and Gold to the playoffs for the first time since the 1997-98 season in his first season coaching the team.
Upon being fired by the Cavs, Brown found work with ESPN and then became a head coach once again for the 2010-11 NBA season with the Los Angeles Lakers. After falling in the NBA Western Conference Finals to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2011-12 season and a sluggish start this year, Brown was fired after just five games with the squad this season after his failings with implementing the Princeton offense with Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant.
Cleveland’s choice to make a move this early in their offseason is definitely justified, as there weren’t many candidates out there that matched up with his resume and his style of coaching, which Cleveland holds in high regards. Also, with the firing of Charlotte Bobcats head coach Mike Dunlap after just one season with the team, Cleveland wanted to act fast before they let the opportunity pass them by.
Nothing is finalized yet, but check back on Right Down Euclid for any breaking news regarding bringing back Coach Brown. Right now, it’s reported that an official announcement will come on Tuesday and a press conference will come on Wednesday.