Thursday, May 19, 2005

Cleveland Cavs Head Coach and GM Search

Head Coach

Paul Silas

The Upside: Not much - he's already been fired. He was an overachieving winner as a player, and considered a player's coach at first.
The Downside: This "player's coach" got into well publicized arguments with Eric Snow (a misunderstanding, but Silas never showed much remorse afterwards) and Jeff McInnis (signs point to this being McInnis' fault). Nowadays, everyone is saying that Silas gave Dan Gilbert no choice but to fire him. Silas didn't agree with Jim Paxson (Jiri Welsch being Paxson's answer to Silas' constant asking for an outside shooter being the last straw), and definitely didn't agree with Gilbert's new team. Also, Silas was never much of an X's and O's guy, even though he was smart enough to swallow his pride and hire an assistant who was good at X's and O's - something that many coaches in many sports are to arrogantly stubborn to do.

Brendan Malone

The Upside: Malone, the Cavs interim coach at the end of the season, does have past head coaching experience with Toronto, and of course is familiar with the Cavaliers.
The Downside: Gilbert has already said that Malone won't be considered as a candidate.

Eric Musselman

The Upside: Musselman, whose father Bill used to coach the Cavs (here we go again...) is a native of the Cleveland area, and has former head coaching experience.
The Downside: I've always been a little wary about hiring a guy who has shown no signs of success elsewhere instead of giving someone new a try. Also, Musselman, a former Magic assistant, is rumored to be up for the Orlando job.

Flip Saunders

The Upside: Another native of the Cleveland area, Saunders was 411-326 with the Timberwolves.
The Downside: Some may consider him a "can't win the big one" type. His downfall in Minnesota, where he finished 1 game under .500 this year, I attribute more to the cancers - I mean players - than his coaching.

Mo Cheeks

The Upside: Cheeks got a bad rap in Portland thanks to players that aren't exactly angels, but he is an NBA-quality coach. Also a good guy (see the incident where he guided a stagefrightened 13 year old girl through the National Anthem by singing along, despite lack of vocal talent), Cheeks had a .538 winning percentage with the Blazers.
The Downside: You know what, I was a little skeptical at first. But, now that I've done a little research, I don't see much downside to this 4-time all star.

Bill Laimbeer

The Upside: Laimbeer has been named by the media as a possible candidate due to his and Gilbert's common Detroit ties. Hey, I'd gladly let a man who owes all he is to Notre Dame and the beer at CJ's be my next head coach.
The Downside: Anything about Laimbeer so far has been media speculation. Confusing many of the meatheads out there, Laimbeer says he's happy in the WNBA.

Dru Joyce II

The Upside: LeBron's high school coach, he could follow in the footsteps of Maverick Carter in a "LeBron hooks up his buddies big time" binge.
The Downside: He's only a high school coach - even if St Vincent-St Mary could probably beat a few D-I mid-majors in any given year.

LeBron James

The Upside: I'm surprised no one in the media has mentioned this yet - they seem to think that LeBron is spoiled and/or should be spoiled as much as possible. Besides, this wouldn't be the first time Cleveland had a player-coach.
The Downside: I'll make the token "ball-less Cleveland sports personality" move here and avoid saying bad things about LeBron for fear that he'll leave.

Lenny Wilkens

The Upside: Speaking of Cleveland player-coaches... Wilkens was perhaps the most popular and most successful coach in Cavaliers history.
The Downside: Lenny retired after a weak showing with the Knicks.

No One

A lockout is looming. I'm dreading the thought that years of LeBron's prime are being taken away from me - years I'll never have back. Oh... wait... nevermind.

General Manager

Jim Paxson

The Upside: An ND grad, he almost built a playoff team this year. He's also related to a successful GM.
The Downside: See above about the Jiri Welsch thing. Even before that, Paxson wasn't considered a good GM. The timing seemed bad, but as with Silas, this team needed to improve at this position if they ever wanted to step up to the next level.

David Morway

The Upside: The former agent and current senior VP of basketball operations in Indiana is said to have a great understanding of salary cap management. Plus, the Pacers are a pretty decent team right now.
The Downside: Some would say that being in the same position for 7 years without "moving up" to GM may be a bad sign. His ties (more or less) to Stephen Jackson and Ron Artest may or may not show that character (or lack thereof) isn't an issue - whether those decisions are his or not.

Rick Sund

The Upside: The current Seattle GM, whose contract is up at the end of this year, has turned the Sonics into a winning team again. Plus, he knows a thing or two about outside shooters and may or may not have the pull to bring Ray Allen with him.
The Downside: If you have a winning team, why leave it?

Ed Stefanski

The Upside: Stefanski, current GM of the Nets, only became GM after last year, so he may not be responsible for the massive firesale they had going into this year. A former scout, he's also said to be a great talent evaluator.
The Downside: I'm too lazy to do research, so maybe Stefanski did start the firesale.

Grant Innocenzi

The Upside: St Vincent-St Mary Athletic Director. See above.
The Downside: I don't care how many times you're on ESPN, and how much your tickets are - high school AD isn't NBA GM.