Have cooler heads prevailed down at The Q? That is the thought now that an alleged deadline in Mike Brown's contract has come and gone. Brown's contract apparently had a clause that required the Cavaliers to let him know if he had lost his job within a certain amount of time after the season or Brown is guaranteed at least $4.5 million. That's a hefty chunk of change to buy more time with. Consider this, however. If the prize is LeBron James, I'd say it is well worth the gamble.
Stick with me here, it is late and I may get sidetracked easily.
There are two very different scenarios regarding the Cavaliers right now. I think that is obvious. What isn't as obvious is who the best man to lead the Cavaliers in each scenario is.
Let's take the worst-case scenario first. Should LeBron James leave this summer, the Cavaliers job goes from extremely attractive to, well, close to shipwreck status. At least in the eyes of coaching candidates. Are the Cavaliers likely to find a better coaching candidate than Mike Brown to lead that transition? Personally, I don't think so. There are better jobs out there than to take on Cavaliers team that will be finding its way without the super-star leader it enjoyed for the past 7 years.
Mike Brown is a defensive-minded coach and the Cavaliers will have to win with their defense. However they go about rebuilding the franchise - whether it be by blowing it all up or by trying to retool on the fly, Mike Brown might just be the best candidate out there. Who else has his resume - that will want to take on the Cavaliers challenge, that is.
That brings us to scenario #2, the best case scenario. LeBron James decides to re-sign with the Cavaliers. All of a sudden, the Cavaliers coaching job looks a lot more attractive. Now the Cavaliers have a serious decision to make - likely with the help and input of James himself. That $4.5 million doesn't seem that big of a deal if you have LeBron James as your selling point to potential coaches. That is, should the Cavaliers decide to make a move that late in the game.
I guess what I am saying is this - right now Mike Brown is a $4.5 million insurance policy. Should the Cavaliers lose LeBron, they have a pretty damn good coach to help lead the franchise through the 'Dark Ages'. It also keeps the look of stability to LeBron and his team during the courting process sure to come.
Should LeBron decide to stay, the Cavaliers still have Brown and can decide the best way to move forward at that time - let Brown give it one more try or make a move. Either way, with LeBron on board, the Cavaliers will be contenders.
While it is easy to to play games such as these when the $4.5 mill belongs to someone else, it is the right business move for the Cavaliers to make. Dan Gilbert, above all else, is a smart business man. There is no reason to make an emotional decision, even if there is a price tag attached, without knowing all the facts, understanding all the options.
Mike Brown, for now, remains the head man for the Cavaliers. How long is still anyone's guess.