The revolving door of coaches in Cleveland keeps swinging. After just one year back in Cleveland, Mike Brown has been fired as head coach of the Cavaliers for the second time.
Cavs have hired David Griffin and fire Mike Brown.— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) May 12, 2014
This comes on the heels of previous reporting that acting general manager David Griffin's job just might be safe. Dan Gilbert has been quiet thus far since the Cavaliers season ended nearly a month ago. But with the NBA combine and NBA draft approaching, the dominoes need to start falling sometime soon.
Firing Mike Brown would certainly count as a pretty big domino.
Cavs also promote David Griffin to general manager. Griffin will start a search for head coach immediately.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) May 12, 2014
Whether this is a good move is subject to debate, and I promise you we will have content up on Fear the Sword breaking it down. The Cavs improved by nine wins over the previous season. The team defense improved. The pieces assembled by Chris Grant, and to an unknown extent, by David Griffin and perhaps Dan Gilbert struggled to mesh. Andrew Bynum and Earl Clark might be out of the NBA. Jarrett Jack struggled. Alonzo Gee might be out of the NBA.
Mike Brown had to deal with all of this on top of one of the NBA's youngest rosters. At times, it certainly seemed like too much for him, and he admitted at various points of the season he had never been part of a season like this. The Cavaliers have a lot to do this offseason, and Kyrie Irving is the biggest question mark. There were reports, that Irving denied, that Cleveland's All-Star point guard was unhappy with Brown's offense. Dion Waiters chafed at various points of the season. Everyone struggled offensively for the first few months of the season, and it was inconsistent for most of the year.
Really, this might have been as simple as a new general manager getting to pick his own guy. Grant and Brown had a long and deep relationship. Griffin, from the Phoenix Suns organization, does not. Brown is still owed a lot of money on his reported $20 million deal. Gilbert is on the hook for that.
Irving will have his third coach in four years if he remains a Cavalier next season. That is all but certain to happen but I can't help but think the Cavs have basically done everything they could to alienate the young guard. Maybe this was a move to make him happy. We have a lot of questions that need to be answered, but the first major reveal of the summer is here: Mike Brown is out.
UPDATE: (3:44 pm) - No major news in here, just some possible replacements off the top of my head. George Karl is looking for a job, though he might be more interested in a front office role. Mike D'Antoni has history with David Griffin. Jay Larranaga is an assistant with the Celtics and a former Developmental League head coach. He was a finalist for the 76ers job last summer. Mark Jackson had some success in Golden State and was recently let go.
The Van Gundy brothers are often thought of for head coaching jobs, but it isn't clear they would be interested in Cleveland. As far as college prospects go, Fred Hoiberg of Iowa State is highly thought of. Kevin Ollie is something of the flavor of the week after winning the National Championship at Connecticut.
UPDATE # 2: (3:54) - More names as they pop into my head and into my twitter timeline. Adrian Griffin is an assistant coach with the Bulls. Alvin Gentry has Phoenix ties to Griffin as well. So to does Vinny del Negro ...
The thinking, of course, is that Griffin is much more interested in an open style of play getting up and down the court and utilizing the three point shot. We will see how that translates into future roster building.