Shortly after last nights loss to the severely undermanned Miami Heat, sourced reports began to trickle out that head coach Byron Scott, hired shortly before The Decision three years ago in a last-ditch attempt to keep LeBron James in Cleveland, would be fired once the season ends.
After tweeting earlier in the day that the second half of the Cavs season had led to an "erosion" of support for Scott in the Cleveland front office, Joe Kotoch of Probasketballdraft.com followed up with this:
Expect Byron Scott to be fired shortly after regular season conclusion based on conversations w/ several Cavs sources.— Probasketballdraft (@Probballdraft) April 16, 2013
"Fans are clearly split on the status of coach Byron Scott. Some are for, some against, bringing Scott back for a fourth season. Both sides are plenty vocal.
Within the past few days, sources around the league have told FOX Sports Ohio that Scott is about to be fired. The Cavs, however, have not commented on or off the record.
Their final game is Wednesday at Charlotte, and any decision involving Scott is likely to be announced shortly after."
Scott still has a year left on his contract, and will be paid that money regardless of whether he is on the Cavaliers coaching staff next season. My feelings on this are mixed, but ultimately I think this is an unfair decision. Before the year started I wrote that the Cavaliers would have a rough start of the season and never be in the playoff race, but would finish strong enough that there would be a lot of optimism going into next season. That never happened. How much of that blame goes to Byron Scott, I don't know.
I don't know too many head coaches that will be available without looking into outside of the names always mentioned: Brian Shaw, Nate MacMillan, and the Van Gundy brothers. It will be curious to see what kind of offense the Cavaliers run next season; Cleveland had seen a bit of success with all of their players healthy this season, and not every offense functions best with two primary ballhandlers like Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. Scott's offense also seemed to function remarkably well given the lack of three point shooting the Cavs have had. Finally, players like Wayne Ellington, Shaun Livingston, Luke Walton, and CJ Miles have played some of their best basketball in the NBA in this offense.