According to Sam Amick of USA Today Sports, the Cleveland Cavaliers are set to interview Vinny Del Negro, Alvin Gentry Adrian Griffin and other unnamed candidates for their vacant head coaching job. This comes a day after reports surfaced indicating that the Cavs asked the Los Angeles Clippers for permission to interview Gentry, who was the associate head coach on Doc Rivers’ staff this past season. Lionel Hollins, the former head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, and the Cavs also reportedly have shown mutual interest. On top of that, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported Wednesday that the Cavs have been “aggressively mining the college ranks” for a new head coach.
Del Negro is the former coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers. Currently an analyst for NBA TV, Del Negro has a career coaching record of 210-184, but was unable to have any playoff success in either Chicago or Los Angeles and isn’t particularly well-regarded as a coach. He is the most surprising candidate being considered and it would be surprising to be Del Negro be handed the reigns of a team lead by a young star point guard (Kyrie Irving) after failing to have success with two other teams with elite point guards (Derrick Rose in Chicago, Chris Paul in L.A.). He also previously worked in the Phoenix Suns’ front office as an assistant GM.
Gentry has previously coached the Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns. He is known for an up-tempo offensive style that makes him a logical fit for the Cavs’ roster. He has a career coaching record of 335-370. Gentry and Cavs GM David Griffin also worked together in Phoenix, which also helps make him a logical candidate for Cleveland.
Griffin is currently an assistant on Tom Thibodeau’s staff in Chicago. A former NBA player, Griffin began his coaching career immediately after retiring in 2008 with the Milwaukee Bucks under Scott Skiles. He became a Bulls assistant in September of 2010 and is regarded as one of the NBA’s top assistants due to his molding as a defensive coach under Thibodeau. He is also reportedly on the wish list of the Utah Jazz. Griffin also has a connection with free agent to be Luol Deng, as Griffin was a teammate of Deng’s early in the latter’s career and then coached him before Deng was traded to Cleveland in January.
The Cavs job became open when Mike Brown was let go after one season. Griffin has said there is no timetable to hire a new coach.