The Cleveland Cavaliers fired Mike Brown yesterday and the organization will now be hiring its third coach in three seasons. Who becomes the next head coach will be the third coach in four years for both Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, the third head coach in three years for Dion Waiters and will inherit what is currently on the NBA’s youngest rosters. Still, with Irving and Dan Gilbert’s willingness to spend money, this isn’t the worst job out there. But with several other teams (the Boston Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakers, etc.) hiring coaches as well, it’s going to be interesting to see how the process unfolds, how long it will take and if the Cavaliers’ can get their man. Below, RDE editor and RDE senior writer Trevor Magnotti list six coaches that could possible be the next Cavaliers head coach.
Editor’s Note: Steve Kerr and Stan Van Gundy were not named as both men are rumored to be completing deals with other teams. Kerr is currently in negotiations with the New York Knicks and Van Gundy is reportedly close to a deal with the Golden State Warriors.
Mark Jackson: Mark Jackson’s name has been floated around and for good reasons. He led his Golden State teams on solid playoffs runs. There was outcry when he was fired by the Warriors and for good season. He’s a solid coach, but if it were me, I’d stay away from Jackson. Part of the reason he was fired by the Warriors was that he didn’t mesh with ownership and it’s not hard to envision a similar with the Jackson and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert developing. Still, Jackson is worth a look and there are definitely worse choices out there (see Del Negro, Vinny). – Chris Manning
Alvin Gentry: Gentry, the former coach of the Heat, Pistons, Clippers, and Suns, was the Suns head coach when Griffin was with Phoenix. He is known for running variations of the run-n-gun, wide open offense that Mike D’Antoni employs, and while he hasn’t seen much success as a coach, helped develop Grant Hill and Lamar Odom into All-Stars and led Phoenix to their surprise Western Conference Finals appearance in 2010. He’d likely do wonders for opening up the Cavaliers offense and developing their guards and wings; however, his defensive abilities as a coach are highly questionable. – Trevor Magnotti
Mark Price: Price, the former Cavaliers great, is an interesting name to consider. He’s currently on Steve Cifford’s staff in Charlotte and has drawn praise for his work as a shooting coach for players such as Rajon Rondo. But it’s the potential to pair Kyrie Irving with a former point guard as a coach that’s most intriguing. He’s about to enter his fourth year in the league and has shown flashes of brilliance, but Irving hasn’t quite taken that next step into the elite of the elite. It’s unlikely, but Price is someone I’d take a hard look at. – CM
Jay Larranaga: The son of former George Mason and current Miami coach Jim Larranaga, Jay has made his mark as a former D-League coach and current Boston Celtics assistant. Larranaga is considered an excellent offensive mind, and has experience working with international and D-League talent, also working under Mike Fratello with the Ukrainian National team. This would be Larranaga’s first head coaching position, but he has the makings of an intriguing head coach who could do wonders for the development of the Cavs’ young core. – TM
George Karl: Karl would be the biggest name of any possible Cavaliers candidates. The former Cavaliers coach was the Coach of the Year just a year ago with the Denver Nuggets and runs an uptempo offense that could bring the best out of the Cavs’ personnel. He may ask for the title of president (as he already has stated his interest in that position in Cleveland) and that could create a weird dynamic with David Griffin just being named the full-time GM. Still, knowing Dan Gilbert and all the rumblings we’ve already heard about his interest in big names, Karl is a name I’d watch.
Adrian Griffin: USA Today and Eye on Basketball gave us this option, and Griffin would be another intriguing name. A Tom Thibodeau understudy in Chicago, Griffin is young but well-respected around the league. A former Dallas Maverick and Chicago Bull in his playing days, it can be assumed that the former solid perimeter defender would be a defense-first coach for the Cavaliers. – TM
Other names to watch: Mike D’Antoni, Fred Hoidberg, Vinny Del Negro, Lionel Hollins