The Cavaliers and head coach Larry Drew have yet to discuss Drew’s future with the team, he told reporters on Sunday. As Tom Withers of The Associated Press details, Drew said that conversation will take place once Cleveland’s regular season ends.
While the Cavs haven’t confirmed that they’ll conduct a full-fledged coaching search this spring, they also haven’t done anything to give the idea that Drew will return, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. According to Vardon, NBA insiders would be “shocked” if Cleveland ultimately ends up retaining Drew, who has a club option for 2019/20. He’d receive a buyout if he’s not retained.
After replacing Tyronn Lue early in the season, Drew has done a decent job with a poor hand — he and the Cavs have had to deal with injuries all season, with star forward Kevin Love only having appeared in 22 games. The team has a 19-56 record under Drew.
Still, even if the Cavs were interested in bringing back Drew, it’s not clear that he’d reciprocate that interest. He told The Athletic back in January, “I don’t know if I ever want to be a head coach again after this year,” adding that he hadn’t been looking to fill that role heading into the 2018/19 season.
“I think he’d be great for the future, but, I don’t even know if he wants it,” Love said of Drew, per Vardon. “He knows that I have his back and I think a lot of the guys have his back.”
If the Cavs do move on from Drew and give GM Koby Altman a chance to hand-pick his own head coach, there’s a good chance that Nuggets assistant Jordi Fernandez will get a serious look from the Cavs, sources tell Vardon. Vardon adds that the team is doing its homework on Luke Walton, who is widely expected to be dismissed by the Lakers.