The Cavs would have given strong consideration to hiring Tom Thibodeau if they’d made a coaching change this past summer, a league source told Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com, but now, management has faith in Tyronn Lue, McMenamin writes. They’ve seen him manage to remain loyal to David Blatt while developing relationships of his own with the team’s stars, and they’re confident that Lue will command a level of effort from the team that they believe wasn’t always present under Blatt, McMenamin adds. See more from the Eastern Conference:
- The Heat have had a standing offer to Ray Allen since the 2014 offseason, but he remains unmoved and that’s no surprise, given his frustration with the team during the 2013/14 season, his last one in Miami and last to date in the NBA, writes Ethan Skolnick of the Miami Herald. All of the former teammates and other acquaintances of Allen’s to whom Skolnick has spoken expect him to remain out of the game, though Allen said this past summer that he had no plans to officially retire.
- Agents from around the league insist that the Nets are “in the mix” for soon-to-be free agent Kevin Durant, even though they look like long shots, writes Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com. Durant’s free agency, expected to be one of the major storylines of the 2015/16, has largely been a backburner issue in large measure because Durant has spoken little about it and has rarely given any indication that he wants to leave the Thunder.
- Meddling from owners who aren’t basketball personnel experts is most damaging when it affects draft decisions, which is why a report that Sixers ownership was worried about how fans would react to Kristaps Porzingis and pushed the team to draft someone else instead is troublesome, contends Derek Bodner of Philadelphia magazine. Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil says the report isn’t true, however (Twitter link).