Report: John Beilein considering resigning as Cavaliers coach

Cavaliers coach John Beilein
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The Cavaliers took a chance hiring an old John Beilein.

It’s not working.

The slugs-thugs mix-up was only emblematic of a larger problem: Beilein has failed to connect with his players. Many in Cleveland seem miserable.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Shams Charania, Kelsey Russo and Jason Lloyd of The Athletic:

Cavaliers coach John Beilein is not expected to remain as head coach beyond the end of the season, league and team sources have told The Athletic. The terms of the separation, and the exact timing of it, are not yet known, but momentum is building toward his exit.

Several factors have come into play around the Cavaliers and Beilein in regard to his job position leading to the potential end of his tenure before the end of the five-year contract he signed in May — including the team’s on- and off-court struggles and the personal toll his son Patrick Beilein’s resignation at Niagara in October has taken on him — league sources said.

If Beilein doesn’t resign during the season, the Cavs might want to move on in the offseason. He’s just not getting results.

One way or another, Beilein now appears likely to join the list of NBA coaches who lasted one season or less in their first non-interim head-coaching job since the NBA-ABA merger:

Season Coach Team W L
2019 Igor Kokoskov PHO 19 63
2014 Jason Kidd BRK 44 38
2013 Mike Dunlap CHA 21 61
2011 Keith Smart GSW 36 46
2009 Michael Curry DET 39 43
2008 Sam Vincent CHA 32 50
2004 Randy Ayers PHI 21 31
2004 Kevin O’Neill TOR 33 49
2001 Leonard Hamilton WAS 19 63
2000 Gar Heard WAS 14 30
1999 Mike D’Antoni DEN 14 36
1998 Bill Hanzlik DEN 11 71
1997 Johnny Davis PHI 22 60
1996 Brendan Malone TOR 21 61
1994 Quinn Buckner DAL 13 69
1993 Jerry Tarkanian SAS 9 11
1988 John Wetzel PHO 28 54
1984 Morris McHone SAS 11 20
1981 Bill Musselman CLE 25 46
1980 Stan Albeck CLE 37 45
1980 Jack McKinney LAL 10 4
1978 Bob Hopkins SEA 5 17
1977 Tates Locke BUF 16 30

The last coach who didn’t finish first NBA season: Randy Ayers, whom the 76ers fired in 2004.

Assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff – who previously coached the Grizzlies and interviewed for the Cleveland head-coaching job before Beilein got it – would be the favorite to take over. The Cavs aren’t winning significantly this season, but it’d be helpful to instill a better culture around Darius Garland, Collin Sexton and Kevin Porter.

Beilein has proven himself as an elite college coach. If the 67-year-old wants to continue coaching, he could certainly land a top job on that level.

Warriors GM Myers reiterates he would like to extend Green, Poole, Wiggins

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Andrew Wiggins is entering the final year of his contract and the Warriors want to extend him. Jordan Poole is up for a contract extension and if it isn’t worked out by the start of the season he becomes a restricted free agent next summer. Draymond Green is eligible — and wants — a four years, $138.4 million extension (the max they can give him).

Bob Myers said again this week that he wants to keep all three of those players — all critical parts of the Warriors run to a title last season — but financial reality could intrude upon that dream. Here’s what Myers said Thursday, via Kendra Andrews of ESPN:

“We want all of those guys,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said at a news conference Thursday. “Can we get all of them? I don’t know.

“It depends on what the money ends up being. What the ask is what we can end up doing. We’re not at a point to make those decisions yet. Some of these decisions may be made in the next two weeks, some might be made in the next seven, eight months.”

The Warriors turned heads around the league paying more than $350 million in player salaries and luxury tax last season — and this season they will be in the same ballpark. Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob has said even with the cash cow that is the new Chase Center, this is not a team that can spend $400 million. Some expenses are locked in, such as Stephen Curry and his $215.4 max contract extension. Klay Thompson is at the max for a couple of more years.

Poole is part of the future in Golden State — along with Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, and maybe Jonathan Wiseman — and they can’t let him go. Wiggins was the Warriors’ second-best player in the postseason last year. That has led to some speculation Green could be the odd man out — something Myers has denied. Green will make $25.8 million this season but is  expected to opt out of the $27.6 million player option he has next season. It leaves the Warriors and Green with a choice.

Something’s got to give, but the Myers and the Warriors seem ready to kick that financial can down the road until next summer, and for this season get the band back together and chase another ring.

Poole would be the first up (there is an Oct. 17 deadline to extend him). Whatever happens, this will be an undercurrent of a story all season long in the Bay Area.

C.J. McCollum inks two-year, $64 million extension with Pelicans

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After helping New Orleans return to the playoffs for the first time since Anthony Davis was traded to the Lakers, C.J. McCollum earned a two-year, $64 million extension with the Pelicans. He will remain under contract with the team through the 2025-26 season, and there isn’t a player or team option in the deal. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news Saturday afternoon.

New Orleans traded Josh Hart, Tomas Satoransky, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Didi Louzada, a 2022 protected first-round pick (turns into 2025 first-round pick that is top-4 protected), and two future second-round picks for McCollum, Larry Nance Jr., and Tony Snell.

New Orleans now has their core of McCollum, Zion Williamson, and Brandon Ingram under contract for the next three seasons.

The expectations will be high for the Pelicans for the next few years. After starting last season 1-12, first-year head coach Willie Green helped turn the team around, and they finished 36-46 before beating the Spurs and Clippers in the play-in tournament. Their season ended after losing to the Suns 4-2 in the first round of the playoffs.

McCollum averaged 24.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.3 steals, and 2.7 triples per game after the trade to New Orleans.

The return of Zion this season, along with the success of last year’s team, has the team expecting a return to the playoffs. Locking up their star guard in McCollum emphasizes that their rebuild is over. After missing the playoffs during their first three seasons in the post-AD era, they don’t expect to return to the lottery for a long time. The big question surrounding their potential success will be Zion’s health.

Reports: Suns push for Jarred Vanderbilt derailed Bojan Bogdanovic trade

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Utah traded Bojan Bogdanovic not to one of the contenders pushing for him — Phoenix, Miami, even the Lakers — but to rebuilding Detroit. It’s a move that caught the NBA off guard.

News has come out now that part of what hung up the Suns’ effort to land Bogdanovic was their push to make promising young forward Jarred Vanderbilt — who the Jazz got from the Timberwolves in the Rudy Gobert trade — as part of the deal. The well-connected John Gambardoro first had the report.

If the Suns had not pushed for Vanderbilt it doesn’t mean they would have landed Bogdanovic using a Jae Crowder-based package ( with another player, maybe Landry Shamet, and some picks). Reports have also suggested the draft package that was part of the Suns offer was not impressing the Jazz, so Utah moved on to a cost-cutting move rather than one where they took back more salary than they preferred.

The Pistons may decide to trade Bogdanovic again closer to the February deadline and maybe the Suns can get in the mix then. But for now, the Phoenix target is in the Motor City to start the season.

 

 

Knicks’ Leon Rose plays it safe with media, Mitchell trade: ‘We’re thrilled with where we are’

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Leon Rose continues to play it safe.

He’s played it safe with the New York media since he arrived — he doesn’t meet with them. Instead, he again turned this week to the MSG Network — owned by Knicks governor James Dolan — so he doesn’t have to face hard questions or defend decisions.

He also played it safe in the Donovan Mitchell trade talks, not going all-in to get the All-Star out of Utah. Mitchell is now in Cleveland and we will see over the course f the next 12-24 months if playing it safe was the right call. Here’s Rose’s explanation of the situation in that MSG interview (hat tip Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News).

“We went through that process and at the end of the day we made a decision to stay put. And we’re thrilled with where we are. Taking a look at the summer, we feel great about what transpired.”

As every GM does this time of year, Rose said he likes his team and its chances this season.

“One of our main goals has been to create internal stability. Signed RJ Barrett, first extension of a player since Charlie Ward. We retained Mitchell Robinson. He’s a player who has developed the last few years and we feel very fortunate that we were able to keep him. We got the No.1 point guard in free agency this summer in Jalen Brunson. So we feel really good about the summer.”

In the interview, Rose also defended Tom Thibodeau and his decisions as coach, despite rumors of him being on the hot seat. Rose said Thibs is not under pressure.

The Knicks should be better this season with Brunson, plus Barrett should take another step forward. New York’s problem is much of the East got better — Cleveland, Atlanta, Washington and others — and this roster likely still leaves the Knicks fighting to make the play-in.

Rose deserves credit for being patient, trying to build culture and foundation, and not just throwing Dolan’s money at an aging superstar. He hasn’t done anything stupid, which is a step forward in New York. But he also hasn’t done anything bold yet, he’s just played it safe.

At some point, Rose and the Knicks will have to push their chips in and make a bold, all-in move. But for now, they are playing it safe.