It’s been a good week for the Cleveland Cavaliers. After another disappointing season, they landed the first overall pick in the draft lottery, surprising everyone including themselves. In a draft as loaded as this one, the number one pick gives the franchise a bit of leverage, whether it is in the trade market should they want to go down that path, or in their search for a new head coach. A week ago, the Cavaliers job didn’t seem so enticing. Now? If you pair Kyrie Irving with an incoming first overall pick from this year’s draft class? Suddenly, it seems like a good landing spot for any coach.
According to reports, the Cavaliers have reached out to Billy Donovan, head coach of the Florida Gators. When asked about it, Donovan did admit that he’s spoken to several NBA teams but reiterated that he is happy where he’s at. You may remember, in 2007, Donovan left Florida to take the Orlando Magic head coaching job, only to change his mind a day later. The Magic released him from his contract, on the condition that he wouldn’t be allowed to coach in the NBA for five years. That time has passed, but it appears Donovan is less intrigued this time by the NBA.
The Cavs have also reportedly reached out to other established coaches in the college ranks, including Tom Izzo, Fred Hoiberg and Kevin Ollie. It’s interesting that the Cavs are focused on the college ranks. Keep in mind, they’re paying Mike Brown for the next four seasons and new general manager David Griffin wants to make sure he can find someone to bring some semblance of stability to the team. At the same time, owner Dan Gilbert is adamant about contending immediately, so perhaps someone like Alvin Gentry—an assistant coach with the Clippers, and has a relationship with Griffin from their Phoenix days together—would make more sense.
While Donovan may have shot the Cavs down, you can be sure that there are more than a few coaches who would jump at the opportunity to take the coaching gig in Cleveland.
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