NBA coaching salaries are exploding – and it’s extending to the assistant ranks.
A year after Lawrence Frank received $6 million over six years to help/bother Jason Kidd for a few games, the Warriors doubled Alvin Gentry’s salary to convince him to leave the Clippers.
That was just the start.
The Cavaliers are handsomely paying Tyronn Lue, who finished second to David Blatt in Cleveland’s coaching search, to join Blatt’s staff.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Lue agreed to a four-year, $6.5 million deal, sources said. The contract’s final two years will pay Lue $1.75 million and $2 million, league sources said. The fourth year of the deal is a team option, sources said.
Those salaries would mean Lue averages $1.375 million in his first two years.
With a 1,309,650 salary, Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris was college football’s top-paid assistant last year. Monte Kiffin made $1,533,764 to coordinate USC’s defense the year before.
Jason Garrett made nearly $3 million as a Dallas Cowboys assistant before becoming their head coach, and it stands to risen NFL coaching salaries have only risen since.
Football definitely features the highest assistant-coach salaries, but basketball is getting there.
Lue, after years of working under Doc Rivers, is highly regarded, but other assistants could probably command more. Maybe this is just Dan Gilbert throwing money at his problems, but I think it’s a step toward most teams having at least one million-dollar assistant within a few years.
If you believe there is a difference between being dunked on and being dunked around, this definitely falls in the latter category.
Still, it’s an impressive move by Toronto’s Anthony Bennett to make the move and dunk around Lakers’ big man Robert Upshaw during the Raptors’ 105-97 preseason win over the Lakers Thursday night.
Bennett only had four points, but Kyle Lowry had another impressive preseason outing with 25. He has looked sharp. Julius Randle had 17 for the Lakers on 7-of-10 shooting.
The Cavs are shorthanded in the backcourt right now, with Kyrie Irving still out and Iman Shumpert sidelined for up to three months. Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re bringing in former Temple guard Dionte Christmas, who played for the Suns in 2013-14:
In 31 games for the Suns two seasons ago, Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game. He probably won’t get very many minutes if he makes the Cavs’ final roster, but there’s a chance they’ll keep him around on a non-guaranteed deal until Irving and Shumpert are healthy, just to have another body in the backcourt.