New Cavaliers head coach John Beilein accepted a position with the team last week after coaching for 12 seasons at Michigan, a difficult decision for someone who has spent over 40 years at the collegiate level.
Beilein, who’s known for his high character and wealth of basketball knowledge, is being tasked with guiding a young Cavs team back to prominence after a difficult 2018/19 season. The opportunity to coach an NBA team was too good for Beilein to pass up despite having no experience in the league.
“There’s never a good time to leave,” he said last week, as relayed by Andrew Seligman of The Associated Press. “You can make a couple choices. You can leave too early or you can leave too late. You never know when to leave. This was an opportunity that has so much potential it was too difficult to pass up. It was the right thing to do.”
Beilein sees great potential in his new team, from veterans such as Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson to younger players such as Collin Sexton, Cedi Osman, and the No. 5 overall selection in June’s draft. The team also hired a respected associate head coach in J.B. Bickerstaff on Sunday, who spent this past season with the Grizzlies.
“We have good young players,” Beilein said. “Kevin Love. We’ve got some guys with a lot of experience, especially with winning. I talked with all the players today. I feel a good karma right now. Last year, although it was difficult for all, we all learned a lot. Everybody’s gonna grow from it and attack next year with a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of spirit, a lot of optimism.”
There’s more from the Central Division tonight:
- Rod Beard of The Detroit News examines the Pistons’ roster needs, most notably through draft prospects and upcoming free agents. Detroit has the 15th pick in the NBA Draft and will likely be patient at the start of free agency, coming off a season that saw them go 41-41 with the No. 8 seed.
- Aside from bolstering Milwaukee’s championship hopes, the return of Malcolm Brogdon also boosts his potential value during free agency this summer, Steve Aschburner of NBA.com writes. Since returning, Brogdon, who will reach restricted free agency in July, has averaged 13 points in three postseason wins off the Bucks’ bench. He averaged 15.6 points on 51% shooting from the floor, 43% from 3-point range and 93% from the charity stripe in 64 contests during the regular season.
- K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune explores the potential options at point guard for the Bulls this summer, including Brogdon, Terry Rozier, Patrick Beverley and others. Chicago is said to be interested in upgrading its point guard position this offseason through the draft or free agency.