Jon Beilein has reportedly agreed to step down as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. As J.B. Bickerstaff takes over the team, it’s very unclear where the franchise is headed. Examining the Cavaliers direction is difficult; their situation is unlike any other team.
Another Dan Gilbert decision has backfired for the team. Gilbert’s interests have now included Beilein, Colin Sexton and Isiah Thomas. While the jury is out on Sexton, any Gilbert influence has begun to stick out as a failure for the Cavaliers. Gilbert has been willing to shell out money for bad contracts that result in draft-picks. General Manager Koby Altman is the one making quality decisions.
Altman got the chance at his first official draft this past year. Darius Garland is considered a steal, Dylan Windler is unseen but approved of, and Kevin Porter Jr. has fans’ attention. Altman also acquired Andre Drummond for little to nothing. Drummond is an All-Star caliber player who the Cavs can most likely retain. Despite some quality decisions, Altman can still hold some of the blame. Did Cedi Osman deserve an extension? Why is Kevin Love still in Cleveland? Is Drummond worth the money that’s coming to him? The Cavs GM does have a chance to make more splashes. Cleveland will have another top draft pick, this summer allows for another Kevin Love trade, and Altman may have coach-hiring power. Dan Gilbert would be wise to let Altman work and Koby would benefit from some serious changes.
The coaching search should be centered around one thing: player development. I don’t think J.B Bickerstaff is known for player development, but time will tell. The Cavs roster will only get younger over the next three years, and the need for improvement is clear. Players like Sexton, Garland, Porter Jr., Windler and future picks will need proper development.
I personally want to see one thing form the Cavaliers: improvement. Players’ stats should rise, win totals should grow, and stories of drama and foolishness should stop. For the Cavs, mediocrity should be their championship going forward. Becoming normal in areas of basketball operations should result in growth—something 2019-2020 hasn’t offered Cleveland.