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Cleveland wants ‘young coach who will embrace analytics’

Koby Altman, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, Dave Joerger

The Cleveland Cavaliers are finally taking a prudent approach to team-building. According to Marc Stein of The New York Times, the team hopes to hire a “young” head coach who understands the value of analytics and has a successful history with player development.

“The Cavaliers have actually made it pretty clear that they are looking for a young head coach who will embrace analytics and try to replicate the heavy-on-development atmosphere that has birthed such good results in Brooklyn with Kenny Atkinson and in Atlanta with Lloyd Pierce,” Stein writes.

Cleveland fired Tyronn Lue early in the 2018-19 season and parted ways with interim coach Larry Drew at the conclusion of the regular season. The team has reportedly already conducted interviews or will conduct interview with Miami Heat assistant Juwan Howard, Dallas Mavericks assistant Jamahl Mosley, Utah Jazz assistant Alex Jensen, San Antonio Spurs assistants Ettore Messina and Ime Udoka, and Nate Tibbetts and David Vanterpool of the Portland Trail Blazers, among others.

Each name mentioned above would fit the Cavaliers’ preference for a coach who embraces the tenets of modern basketball and has some track record developing incumbent players, whether as a specialist or coaching for an organization that prides itself on internal improvement.

Cleveland, which finished 19-63 last season, has a 14 percent chance to get the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the same as the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns. If the Cavaliers win the lottery, they will surely select Duke phenom Zion Williamson, pairing him with rookie guard Collin Sexton and wing Cesi Osman to start rounding out the team’s young core.

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