Mornings are better when you know there’s going to be Cavalier basketball later that evening.
The first sip
It’s weird to think of the Cavs as having stability with their front office and head coach, but that seems to be the case for now. Koby Altman has been extended through the 2028 season. This follows the J.B. Bickerstaff extension through 2027 that was announced on Christmas. Dan Gilbert doesn’t always let his coaches and executives make it through the entire length of their contract, but he generally doesn’t give them contract extensions either.
Every sports franchise wants to have the stability of the San Antonio Spurs, New England Patriots or Pittsburgh Steelers where one coach and front office guide the team for decades. However, not many are willing to stay committed to that singular vision through the inevitable valleys that all franchises go through.
It’s easy to be committed when things are going well. The Cavs are outperforming expectations. J.B. and Koby are pushing all the right buttons now, but that doesn’t mean that they will be this time next year or the following one. Can this ownership group stay committed to both when the coach and front office inevitably don’t live up to the expectations? That isn’t something Gilbert has been able to do in the past.
The second sip
It’s easy to point to Koby’s success so far. The Evan Mobley pick was a no brainer, but it was also a homerun. Not all GMs are able to hit the homers even when a generational talent falls into their laps, sorry Kings, so that should still be celebrated.
The Darius Garland pick wasn’t as obvious. It would’ve been easy to pass on Garland after taking Collin Sexton the year before. Especially with the then presumed three-and-D potential of Jarrett Culver available. But, Altman and company stuck to their plan of taking the best player available regardless of fit which has worked out brilliantly.
Throw in the Jarrett Allen trade/extension and the Ricky Rubio pickup over the summer and it’s easy to see why Altman deserves this promotion.
However, not every move has worked out that well. Fortunately, the bad moves that were made aren’t currently haunting Altman.
The Kevin Love extension was bad at the time, but it doesn’t look as egregious now that Love is playing like a Sixth Man of the Year candidate. The Andre Drummond trade wasn’t bad, but extending him could’ve had disastrous ramifications. The Kevin Porter Jr. experience wasn’t ideal even if Altman was smart to move on from him. The Lauri Markkanen trade and extension doesn’t look great right now either.
Altman has been good. He deserves a ton of credit and I am glad that the Cavs extended him. However, there’s an alternate timeline where things look a lot different than they do now. Even the best processes in sports often require a little bit of luck.
Links of the day
‘The Book of Boba Fett’ Chapter 2 Breakdown: A Tusken Initiation - a recap of last week’s episode in preparation for today’s new one.