Before LeBron James, Mark Price was probably the best player in Cavaliers history. The sweet-shooting guard is still beloved in Cleveland.
So, though Price might be a longshot – Alvin Gentry and Tyronn Lue are interviewing with Dan Gilbert – Cavaliers fans must be thrilled about this development:
Price, who spent this season as a Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets) assistant coach, has a bright future in coaching. But he lacks experience – at least by the standard established prior to Jason Kidd, Steve Kerr and Derek Fisher.
By comparison to those three, though, Price is a seasoned pro. Before joining Charlotte, he served as a player-development coach for the Magic and shooting coach for the Grizzlies, Hawks and Warriors.
But a few suspect hires elsewhere don’t mean the Cavaliers should rush to hire Price. He wasn’t even an on-the-bench assistant in Charlotte this season. Though with assistant Bob Beyer joining Stan Van Gundy’s staff in Detroit, Price is slated to move up from behind the bench if he remains in Charlotte.
Maybe the Cavaliers want to buy Price stock before it matures. We’re not far from him regularly interviewing for head-coaching jobs. And if Cleveland wants to take a chance on Price, that’s totally defensible.
The biggest argument I have against it is that all NBA coaches are on a clock to get fired. Sooner or later – at least outside San Antonio and maybe wherever Doc Rivers is coaching – their message wears thin, and the team tunes them out. It’s inevitable.
Why start Price’s clock while he’s still learning the ropes? Wait until he’s ready, so his first year or two on the clock isn’t wasted.
Then again, if the Cavaliers wait, they might not have another shot at him.