Report: Tyronn Lue Being Subpoenaed in Lawsuit Against Cavs

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The Cleveland Cavaliers are currently embroiled in a lawsuit with former assistant coach Jim Boylan over the non-renewal of his contract following the 2017-18 season.

Adding to the intrigue of this litigation is the fact that former Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue has been subpoenaed to testify and give a deposition in the case.

Boylan is suing the team over his belief that his dismissal was attributed to the fact that he was 63 years old when he was let go by the team. Lue’s presence in this case was connected to Boylan’s statement about a subsequent phone conversation between the two men.

In looking at the lawsuit, Joe Vardon of The Athletic noted that the Cavaliers have since hired 66-year-old John Beilein as their new head coach, followed by Wednesday’s hiring of assistant Lindsay Gottlieb:

“The lawsuit was filed last year by Jim Boylan, whose contract was not renewed last summer. He was 63 at the time. His complaint is centered around a voicemail he received from then-Cavs coach Tyronn Lue, in which Lue said Cavs general manager Koby Altman ‘wanted to go younger’ at Boylan’s spot. The Cavs are arguing that Lue misrepresented the reasons behind Altman’s decision, that it was not Lue’s place to place the call to Boylan to begin with, and that Boylan’s contract was not allowed to expire because of his age.

“The suit is ongoing. Lue, who of course was fired after six games last season, received a subpoena to testify, but his deposition (scheduled for May in Las Vegas) was postponed. I’d also say that none of this should be taken as a suggestion that Altman has since hired Beilein and Gottlieb as a result of Boylan’s suit. It’s just, again, the contrast between Boylan’s claim and the Beilein/Gottlieb hires is striking.”

Boylan didn’t coach in the NBA during the 2018-19 season following his five seasons with the Cavs. Prior to his arrival in 2013, he served as an assistant with six other teams after having begun his NBA tenure as an assistant under Mike Fratello with the Cavaliers in 1993. During that quarter-century in the league, he also served as interim head coach for the Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks.

Lue has two more years left on the five-year contract he signed with the Cavaliers. Last month, he was on the verge of becoming head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers before negotiations broke down. He’s also been sought by other teams as a top assistant.

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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.