The Cleveland Cavaliers are facing a potential coaching crisis, as the newly-signed John Beilein could step down as soon as this week or at season’s end. Yet the 67-year-old isn’t the only one who’s seen the urge to flee the Cavs, as former coach Larry Drew was hoping to step down last season too before deciding against it with the advice of his agent.
Joe Vardon of The Athletic uncovered as much during his Tampering podcast, noting how he was already lining up the head coach of their G League affiliate for the job.
“He wanted to quit at the All-Star break last year… on Cleveland,” said Joe Vardon on the Tampering podcast. “He wanted to leave. He wanted them to promote whoever was the G League coach.”
Drew got the Cavs job as coach after the front office decided to fire Tyronn Lue in light of insubordination. Lue continued to give veterans minutes despite an edict from general manager Koby Altman to give the young guys a heavy load. In light of the Kevin Love injury, Lue couldn’t justify benching players like Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith when the team needed scoring, a decision that ultimately led to his firing.
The Cavs continued to be a burning ship under Drew, as the talent just wasn’t there, only inexperienced youth with no viable route to wins.
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While Beilein has been a clear misfit as a coach and a major miscalculation from the front office, he also has his own reasons for leaving. He’s clearly lost the locker room and has failed to reach the veterans, some of which said some of Beilein’s assistants are more qualified than him to be the team’s head coach.
Yet that doesn’t change the fact that the Cavs are devoid of immediate answers with an underperforming Kevin Love, a soon-to-be free agent Tristan Thompson, a newcomer in Andre Drummond, and a virtual fight for minutes between Collin Sexton and Darius Garland — two undersized guards that can’t coexist under the same backcourt.