Report: Cavs Are ‘Widely Expected’ to Hire Young, First-Time Head Coach

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With the Cleveland Cavaliers and Larry Drew having officially parted ways, the team is on the lookout for a new head coach. One report indicates that the team is focusing their search on finding a young assistant coach looking for a promotion to his first head coaching job.

Joe Vardon of The Athletic explained the reasoning behind such a process and offered some possible targets for the Cavaliers:

“It’s an exciting time to hire a coach. We’re just passing dawn in a new era of the NBA, one dominated by analytics, 3-point shooting, playing ultra fast and developing the hell out of the players you draft. There’s a growing trend in the league of hiring first-time head coaches, on the younger side (they don’t have to be babies, necessarily) and watch them nurture a collection of modern athletes into competency ahead of schedule. It’s worked in Philadelphia with Brett Brown, Brooklyn with Kenny Atkinson, Atlanta with Lloyd Pierce, Toronto with Nick Nurse, and, arguably, Charlotte with James Borrego. The Cavs are widely, widely expected to hire someone like these men. For instance, the organization has for years invested in an analytics operation, but neither Tyronn Lue nor Drew based many (if any) of their decisions on the data they were provided. This is going to change in Cleveland.”

Going in that direction would be the opposite of what the Cavs have done for much of the past decade.

Most recently, Drew, who coached the team for the final 76 games after Lue was fired, turned 61 years of age earlier this month and has been a coach in the NBA for the last 27 seasons. That tenure has included three stints as a head coach, in which he compiled a collective record of 162-226.

While Drew was praised for his efforts, the fact that the team is in the midst of a rebuilding process likely made this type of change inevitable.

For one thing, the younger coaches that will be considered will presumably be more in sync with the front office. On top of that, a good portion of the roster figures to be younger players who can buy into such coaching philosophies that embrace the use of analytics. That’s something that could not have been said about the four seasons prior to the 2018-19 campaign with LeBron James having a big impact on the construction of the Cavs’ roster.

There’s no timetable as to when the Cavaliers will make their final choice, but majority team owner Dan Glbert and general manager Koby Altman hope that it stops the frequent coaching changes by the team.

The new head coach they bring in will be the sixth hired by the Cavs in this decade alone.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.