Throughout this week, we've discussed the rumors about Byron Scott and the possibility of him being fired at the end of the season. Now that the season is over, it's time to answer the questions. Stop beating around the bush. What should the Cavaliers do?
Do you think Byron Scott should be back next season?
Conrad: Yes. He hasn't gotten a fair chance with injuries, roster turnover, etc. He has one more year on his contract, bring him back. I think we will see an overhaul of some other parts of the coaching staff, however.
Angelo: Can I answer this conditionally? If Kyrie's checked out, no. Otherwise, yes. Though I feel like keeping him around another season might just be delaying the inevitable, on the off chance he can right the ship, I think he deserves one last chance with the full roster.
Sam: Assuming there is no lasting ill-will between Irving and Scott, then yes. If Irving thinks Scott needs to go, I think you make the change because keeping Irving happy is paramount to his development, and coaches like Scott are really a dime a dozen. However, I don't think that Scott deserves to be fired yet. I'd give him the offseason to work with Chris Grant and bring in some pieces that might help on the defensive end through the draft and free agency. Then, if it's not working out through 15 or so games next season, you get rid of him.
Ben: Assuming that the locker room (and Kyrie) has tuned out Byron (and also assuming that Jason Llyod's anonymous players weren't simply twelfth men like Casspi and Boobie), no -- he should be let go. If there's grumblings now (and it seems to have really turned toxic), I'm not sure another round of Camp Scott next season will fix matters, roster improvements or no. Both the Nets and the Hornets fired Byron during the middle of the season and I'd rather the Cavs not follow in their footsteps. Next season is too important to be dealing with season long coaching speculation or an interim coach. If you know he's not the guy, cut the cord.
Boosh: My answer to this is a cautious yes. I have been saying that I would give him one more chance to see real, quantifiable progress. I think if this team doesn't win at least 35 games next year that he should be fired without hesitation. I'd also add that if they don't appear to be on track to get to that threshold that they look into replacing him mid-season, if nothing else to send a message that they're done losing. If this team doesn't win 30 games next season? Then it may be time to clean house from top to bottom.
Patrick: I do. Byron deserves at least one year with a solid team. Andy should be back (hopefully), all the young guys will have improved (hopefully), and the roster will be fleshed out with quality free agents (hopefully). I do think that if we don't make the playoffs next year that he should be fired. There will be no excuse to not at least get the 8th seed in the laughably bad Eastern Conference -- provided, of course, that we remain in a relatively good state of health.
BONUS QUESTION: If you think Byron should be fired, what coaches would you suggest as a replacement?
Angelo: Stan Van Gundy. I'd like to what he could do with Tristan & I've always felt what he was able to do with Jameer Nelson in 2009 was under-rated.
Boosh: I answered yes, but I still have an opinion about this. I want Stan Van Gundy or a first time head coach. There are no other retreads that are even remotely appealing to me. I would rather take a shot at hiring an assistant somewhere, and hoping that we get a Thibodeau or Brooks, than hire somebody like Stan's brother.
Sam: I'll give you a couple: Maurice Cheeks and Mike Budenholzer. Cheeks has spent the last four seasons as an assistant on Oklahoma City's staff and has helped turn Russell Westbrook into an All-NBA caliber starting point guard. He has a middling record as an NBA head coach in the past with Portland and Philadelphia, but I think that he can get the best out of Irving at this point in his career. Budenholzer has been Gregg Popovich's assistant for almost 20 years now, and has never had a top coaching job. He's also known to have no problem getting on star players, so that might not be a idea if some are concerned about Irving's attitude.
Ben: Nate McMillan. or maybe Mo Cheeks. I could be talked into Stan Van Gundy, but players hate playing for him even more than they hate playing for Byron.
Patrick: Even though I answered yes, I'd like to say who my candidate would be if Byron is indeed fired. I would go for Stan Van Gundy well above everyone else, especially if we end up snagging Nerlens Noel in the draft. I think he's a smart guy who cuts through the bullshit. He's got a good, modern defensive system and he understands the value of the 3-pointer. Plus, he way out-coached Mike Brown in the infamous 2009 series against Orlando. Not that that's much of an accomplishment, but it's really stuck with me.
So that's our opinions about Byron Scott. What do you think? Should Byron Scott get fired or get another year? If you were to fire him, who would you pursue as a replacement? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.