It was just a few short months ago that Mike Brown was introduced as the new Cleveland Cavaliers head coach, again. The coaching "search" was really more of a coronation, as it became pretty clear that owner Dan Gilbert and general manager Chris Grant had their eyes on Brown all along. Fan reaction was mixed to negative (though I loved it immediately). But it hasn't taken long for most people who follow Cleveland closely to come around on Brown. All three of the Cavaliers free agent acquisitions, Andrew Bynum, Jarrett Jack, and Earl Clark specifically mentioned Mike Brown as being factors in their decision to sign with Cleveland. Cleveland, not known as a hotbed free agent destination, has done quite well for itself this summer. Recently, Brown has begun to give his views on what he thinks of what the Cavs are building.
Per Jason Lloyd, if healthy, Andrew Bynum will be the starting center:
"He’s most likely going to start for us because he’s obviously an All-Star caliber player," Brown said. "But we need to see where his health is as we progress toward training camp, into training camp, preseason and into the regular season. If everything fits right, if he’s completely healthy, no doubt about it, he’s our starter at center."
On who would start next to Bynum in the frontcourt:
On Dion Waiters:
Brown has repeatedly stressed to Waiters that he will have to defend, even saying he wants him to be an Iman Shumpert level defender. I have said this ad nauseum, but if Waiters accepts this role, he could be one of the best defenders in the league in my opinion. He has the necessary length, athleticism, and strength to guard almost any 2 guard. He just has to buy in. So far, it appears he has.
On building a new defensive culture:
And while Brown has hinted that Thompson may move to a reserve role behind Anderson Varejao at power forward, that does not mean he isn't high on the third year power forward:
Mike Brown has been in NBA 20+ years, says Tristan at this stage of his career is in top 5 workers Mike has been around. High, high praise— Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydABJ) July 19, 2013
Mike on Tristan: "He’s an absolute joy to be around ... I’ve been around some pretty good workers ...For as young as he is, he is up there."— Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydABJ) July 19, 2013
So what do we think Cavaliers fans? I think the most controversial part here would be Varejao moving back to power forward. Everything depends on matchups, but I don't know if it is the ideal place for him to play at this point. Still, he seems optimistic and excited and even the idea that he is planning on Bynum being healthy is probably a good sign.