The Cleveland Cavaliers’ roster is going to look very different next season. One way or another. Either LeBron James leaves and then Kevin Love and every veteran they can move gets traded, starting a rebuilding process around whoever the Cavs land with the No. 8 pick; or, LeBron stays, the No. 8 pick gets traded for a veteran who can help the team win now, maybe Love is moved for another better fit, but the roster around LeBron will look much different and be closer to something that could challenge Golden State.
Either way, Tyronn Lue wants to coach it.
“Yeah, I do,” Lue said after Game 4 on if he planed do come back, despite dealing with anxiety issues that kept him away from the team for nine games last season. “I had some tough problems going on throughout the course of the season, and like you said, I probably could have folded myself, but I wasn’t going to do that. I knew that even if I wasn’t feeling a hundred percent, I had to get back for the playoffs. That’s my time. That’s my moment. I didn’t want to put our coaches in that situation. I didn’t want to put our players in that situation, and I had to fight through it. That’s what champions do. I gave everything I had.”
Lue likely does return and a key reason is money Lue has three years and is owed in the neighborhood of $25 million on his current deal. Lue also has the backing of owner Dan Gilbert.
Finally, Lue has the resume that should bring him back: a 128-77 regular season record, a 41-20 playoff record, and one championship.
Lue takes heat for some fans for his coaching acumen, but he can be a good planner of strategy — coming up with the Kevin Love corner action that flummoxed the Raptors for example. Lue is not as strong in-game, and he can be loyal to players when he should be more cold-blooded in the postseason (J.R. Smith in the Finals, for example), but he has the respect of players and that’s what matters most. Guys follow him.
The Cavaliers’ players will follow Lue next season. Whoever they are.
Lue, for his part, believes he can get better.
“Just about myself, I can always get better,” Lue said after Game 4. “But I know that I’m a tough guy. I pride myself on that. I’m hard on myself a lot of times, but I’ve got to realize I’ve only been coaching for two and a half years. It feels like 10 or 15. I can get better, and I’m going to get better. I just learned that you’ve got to stay the course in this profession. Anything can happen.”