Cleveland Cavaliers: Larry Drew is making the veteran play

Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images /

The Cleveland Cavaliers fired Tyronn Lue after just six games, and things aren’t exactly resolved with the head coaching search with likely interim head coach Larry Drew reportedly not agreeing to the position without a long-term commitment.

The Cleveland Cavaliers started the season 0-6, and they fired Tyronn Lue yesterday, per reports by The Athletic’s Joe Vardon and Shams Charania. What’s even more telling now? Associate head coach Larry Drew, who previously coached the Atlanta Hawks, won’t agree to take over interim head coaching duties unless there’s an agreement extending beyond this season, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Is this really all that surprising from Drew? I would say no; the narrative surrounding this Cavaliers team was trying to compete for a playoff birth. Is that now going to be the case? I would have to say no on that one, and Drew doesn’t want to be caught in this tangled situation, as Cleveland only has four players under 25 on the roster right now, and the veterans such as Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, Channing Frye, J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver want to compete.

The problem is, as has been established throughout the last few months, Cleveland should be giving significant minutes to Collin Sexton, Cedi Osman, Rodney Hood, and Larry Nance Jr., among others.

I would assume that Drew knows that this team is probably not going to the postseason this year, especially with Love potentially having an “extended absence,” with his foot soreness issues, per the New York Times’ Marc Stein.

So given all the uncertainty surrounding this team and how the Cavs need a ton of work, it’s a smart move by Drew to not just jump into being the head coach. As our own Josh Friedman demonstrated in a recent article, majority owner Dan Gilbert has a short fuse with head coaches and general managers, and every potential candidate around the league, in international leagues, and in the college ranks has to recognize that.

Drew has been in the league a long time; he played in the league, and has been an assistant coach and/or head coach since 1992-93. He knows how the whole “interim” tag works, and he’s not buying it.

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That’s a veteran play, and the Cavs’ coaching search is probably going to drag on for quite some time.