Larry Drew is the Cavaliers’ interim head coach. He might not like that title, but that’s his role. He’s serving as their head coach while they seek a long-term replacement for Tyronn Lue.
But Drew is also making it clear he’s unhappy in this position.
So, which side will give?
My conversation that I’ve had with my agent, and that was a question that did come up: What happens if things don’t work out? We’re actually just kind of weighing our options on that. I really hope that we can get something resolved, but moving forward, I know that there is a possibility that it may not be resolved.
I would never quit. I won’t do that. As I said, I remain professional. I will continue to do my job.
I was told that there could be a possibility of them just bringing in somebody else to finish out the year, and then I can move back into my original position as associate head coach.
In the event that nothing gets done, there’s a probability or a possibility that they could bring in somebody from the outside or still probably that they could hire from with. But more than likely, from the conversation, is to bring somebody in from the outside and let me resume my original associate-head-coach position and finish my contract.
Presumably, the Cavs are now paying Drew the typical salary of an assistant coach promoted to interim head coach. His issue is reportedly getting a guarantee beyond this season.
But if Drew won’t quit, what leverage does he have?
If I were the Cavaliers, I wouldn’t guarantee Drew – who went 128-102 as Hawks head coach then 15-67 as Bucks head coach – beyond this season now. Maybe he eventually earns the job, but there’s not nearly enough evidence he’s the right long-term coach without seeing more of him and conducting a widespread search. Paying Tyronn Lue and Mike Brown (and probably David Blatt) is enough.
And I don’t blame Drew for setting his own parameters. If he doesn’t want to be head coach without a multi-year guaranteed contract, that’s well within his rights.
Yet, he’s doing that right now and says he won’t quit.
That might be good enough for the Cavs. Their ideal long-term coach probably won’t become available until the offseason. Drew is a capable fill-in. Why hire from a limited pool now rather than just leave Drew in charge?
Because he shames them into it? Maybe that will work. Without the threat of quitting, though, it seems like a tough sell.
Because there’s an outside coach available Cleveland actually wants? That’s a scary thought for Cavs fans, but the team might just do that.