No NBA team makes a coaching change without considering who will be the
next coach. Some plans are more feasible than others, of course.
After firing Mike Brown after five seasons on Sunday, the Cavs have
thrust themselves into a complex and uncertain coaching search. For one,
they are one of six teams now looking for a head coach. Also without a
firm handle on the future of free agent LeBron James, the team will
certainly be limited in how it can pitch its job to the top-flight
coaches they may look to attract.
Usually, teams want new coaches in place before the draft and the start
of free agency. But with the cir*****stances, the team may not be able to
make a decision until after James does. That might not be until July.
Nonetheless, the Cavs do have a list. Here’s a look, according to sources, at who is on it.
The dream choices:
A 10-time world champion who made his mark by coaching in Chicago and Los Angeles. Until he retires for good Jackson would be at the top of any search. There are two reasons why he will be at the top of the Cavs’ list.
One is that his contract with the Lakers is up at the end of the playoffs, making him the James of coaching free agents. The second is Jackson has said Lakers’ owner Jerry Buss wants him to take a sizeable paycut from his $12.5 million annual salary. It has been reported that Buss wants Jackson to take as much as a $7 million cut.
Never afraid to spend money and already assured of some payroll relief compared to the past three seasons, there is a chance Cavs owner Dan Gilbert would be willing to outspend Buss for Jackson.
Five years ago, Jackson did accept an interview with Gilbert before going back to the Lakers.
Even so, this would be considered an extreme long shot. It is hard to see Jackson coaching in Cleveland. Actually, it is hard to see him coaching anywhere but L.A., especially because his longtime girlfriend is Lakers’ executive Jeanie Buss.