Cavaliers coach John Beilein
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Report: John Beilein considering resigning as Cavaliers coach

Leave a comment

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.

Duke’s Cassius Stanley declares for 2020 NBA Draft

Leave a comment

Two Duke players, point guard Tre Jones and big man Vernon Carey Jr., are expected to be in the 2020 NBA Draft and be taken in the late first-round or early second. We talked about them on the recent PBT Podcast breaking down some of this draft class.

Now a third Duke player, wing Cassius Stanley, has thrown his name in the mix.

“It was an absolute joy to coach Cassius this season,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. “I want to congratulate him and his great family on this decision. I’ve seen Cassius grow both as a player and person here at Duke, and I can’t wait to see how his career develops at the next level. Any NBA team will be very fortunate to get such a mature young man who is not only an incredibly-gifted athlete but a leader that wants nothing but the best for himself and his teammates.”

Stanley is projected as a second-round pick, but his incredible athleticism could get a team to use a late first-round pick on him.

Stanley is a 6’6″ wing and it’s his elite athleticism that will get him drafted as a potential 3&D wing. He averaged 12.6 points per game and shot 36 percent from three as a freshman (but on only three attempts a night). His athleticism gives him potential as a defender. The challenge is he relies on that athleticism, something that alone will not set him apart at the NBA level, he is not a shot creator for himself or others, and he struggles to shoot off the dribble. He can finish in transition, but at the next level nearly everyone can do that.

Stanley is a development project, but his athleticism makes him a good gamble for a team with a strong development program.

Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas reported early leader for Bulls’ top job

Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images
Leave a comment

What do the Bulls want in a new top executive? Near the top of the list: someone who can build an organization that drafts well and develops that talent. That’s why executives from Miami, Utah, and Toronto were high on the wish list.

Enter Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas, who has done exactly those things in Denver. Karnisovas is the early frontrunner, reports Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports.

Multiple sources told Yahoo Sports that Denver Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas is the leader in the clubhouse…

Sources said [team president Michael Reinsdorf] wants someone who has a presence publicly, especially given the reticent nature of Paxson and Forman the last several years. The Bulls have embraced analytics the last few seasons but having someone who can discern how to apply the numbers against other basketball factors is important to Reinsdorf…

“He wants someone who’ll surround himself with smart people, a great talent evaluator. There’s a need to get better in the player development department, too,” a source told Yahoo Sports.

Karnisovas has worked mostly in the background in Denver, with Tim Connelly being the face of the basketball operations. That would be a big change for Karnisovas, but one he may be ready for.

John Paxson is helping Reinsdorf with the search, but Paxson reportedly will take on whatever role is asked — or step aside completely — to make things smooth for whoever takes over the organization.

While NBA taking big financial hit, rumor is salary cap will not see huge drop

Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images
Leave a comment

No NBA games are being played, no fans paying for tickets or buying arena beers, no revenue is coming in. The NBA playoffs will not start on time. If games are ramped up at any point in the next couple of months, it will not be in front of fans, just television only.

Which is to say, the NBA is taking a big financial hit right now. How much is impossible to say, but a billion is not out of the question.

The NBA is set up for the players and owners to split revenue, basically 50-50 (it’s more complicated than that, but it stays close to that range). If Basketball Related Income (BRI) drops around the league, then the salary cap drops and players get less money.

The league’s income is going to suffer, but the salary cap may not that much the NBA players union told agents in a call today, according to Ian Begley of SNY.TV.

What this implies is salary cap smoothing — the league would keep the cap artificially high in the short term, but when revenue spikes back up in the following years that rise will be artificially slowed a little to even things out. The idea is to smooth out the cap number rather than have wild fluctuations.

This is likely part of the negotiations going on between the league and players union over the force majeure clause of the CBA, which allows owners to reduce salaries if games are canceled. If the players give up salary now they don’t want to see future income fall too because the cap cratered for a season or two.

Most likely, the owners and players can work out a cap-smoothing compromise that works for both sides (something they could not do when the new NBA TV deal kicked in and the cap spiked back in 2016). The league’s cap projections were already reduced some by the loss of revenue from China following the Daryl Morey Tweet controversy, the missed games obviously will reduce it further.

How much further appears to be under negotiation.

Bulls’ John Paxson reportedly willing to play small role, or even step aside, for new front office

Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images
Leave a comment

It all seems a little too coincidental.

Early reports about a shakeup in the Bulls’ front office had John Paxson, the current vice president of basketball operations, retaining at least some power. There also was a push to help current coach Jim Boylen keep his job.

Then the Raptors’ Bobby Webster, Pacers’ Chad Buchanan, and Heat’s Adam Simon all dropped out of the running for the Bulls job.

Suddenly, there has been a series of reports that Paxson was willing to give up his power and is ready to play whatever role the new GM wants. There was this from K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

But the perception that Paxson will be some hovering presence, going kicking and screaming into the night, is simply wrong. Early this season, Paxson communicated his vision to ownership for a new-look, more modern front office. He initiated some of this need for change.

Michael Reinsdorf likely would have arrived at the same conclusion anyway and has taken the reins on addressing the issue. Well before news broke over All-Star weekend, he began performing due diligence and background on a wide variety of candidates.

Joe Cowley at the Chicago Sun-Times took it a step further.

A source told the Sun-Times on Tuesday that not only is Paxson all for stepping aside from his position and acting more as an adviser to the Reinsdorf family when the front-office restructure is finalized, but would completely step down from the organization if the Reinsdorfs and the new-look executive group deemed it better for the rebuild to continue.

Was the “perception that Paxson will be some hovering presence” just among fans, or did it exist among potential candidates, too? Each of the three candidates that dropped out have positons of some power in quality organizations, each is only going to leave for just the right offer, one with total control of the organization.

It all seems a little too coincidental that they all dropped out and then came the rash of reports about Paxson not wanting to retain power. Whether it was true or not Paxson was always willing to step aside, perception matters.

Chicago did interview Utah’s Justin Zanik, another experienced executive from a stable organization who could be a good fit with the Bulls. The Jazz have set up the kind of strong draft-and-development program (Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, etc.) that the Bulls should try to emulate. The Bulls are also expected to interview Nuggets’ general manager Arturas Karnisovas and Magic assistant general manager Matt Lloyd.

With no games going on, there is no rush to make a hire by the Bulls, they have plenty of time for due diligence (as do the candidates). Chicago will want its new head man and his front office staff in place before what is likely a compacted draft and free-agency period, whenever that comes.