Dan Gilbert

More Details On Cavaliers/John Beilein Split

John Beilein‘s stint as Cavaliers head coach has come to an abrupt end halfway through his first season in Cleveland, and there were warning signs even before the regular season began that things could be headed in this direction, according to a new report from Shams Charania, Jason Lloyd, and Joe Vardon of The Athletic.

The Athletic’s trio suggests that players began to tune out Beilein during training camp, and there were already signals at that point that the new head coach was unhappy in Cleveland. After a pair of preseason blowout losses to the Celtics, league sources were saying that Beilein was second-guessing his decision to leave college for the pros, per The Athletic.

Beilein’s tone toward players was said to be an issue throughout the season, as he allegedly nitpicked fundamentals and displayed an inability to adapt to the NBA’s offensive and defensive structures, according to Charania, Lloyd, and Vardon.

“He was a dictator — not a coach suited for today’s NBA,” one source told The Athletic.

While players were immediately turned off by Beilein’s style, the longtime college coach was “stunned” by the culture in the NBA, according to The Athletic. He was surprised by players’ “revulsion” to long film sessions and practices, and wasn’t accustomed to things like load management – such as Kevin Love sitting out half of back-to-back sets – or trades, which he didn’t have to deal with in college. The Athletic’s report indicates Beilein had a hard time adjusting on offense after the Cavs sent Jordan Clarkson to Utah in December.

The Athletic’s report paints a picture of a marriage between team and coach that was doomed from the start. Here are a few more of the most notable details from the story:

  • Recently-acquired center Andre Drummond didn’t take to Beilein at all upon joining the Cavs earlier this month. One source told The Athletic that Drummond said the situation in Cleveland was worse than the one he’d come from in Detroit. The veteran center reportedly indicated he’d walk in free agency if Beilein was still the Cavs’ coach, Lloyd said in a radio appearance (Twitter link via Keith Britton of 92.3 The Fan).
  • After Beilein said in a January film session that his team had been playing like “thugs,” he apologized, claiming that he had meant to say “slugs.” But several players never really bought that explanation, per The Athletic. “There was no coming back from that,” said one player, who suggested the excuse was an insult to the players’ intelligence. After that incident, a handful of players began blasting songs that prominently featured the word “thug” when Beilein was within earshot, sources told Charania, Lloyd, and Vardon.
  • The Athletic trio suggests that team owner Dan Gilbert may have had a hand in steering the head coaching search toward Beilein, despite his denials that it was his decision. One source told The Athletic that GM Koby Altman and his front office were at least more on board with Beilein than the previous group – led by David Griffin – was with the David Blatt hire in 2014.

Cavaliers Notes: Beilein, Altman, Porter Jr.

In the wake of general manager Koby Altman‘s new long-term contract extension, head coach John Beilein said that Altman’s presence on the Cavaliers was one of the reasons he took the job, as Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com relays.

“That was one of the attractive things about taking the job,” Beilein said of Altman. “I knew [Cavs assistant GM] Mike Gansey really well but he had such great things to say about Koby and then during the whole process I could see a guy I would love to work for. Just love the direction of everything. Have great faith in each other. He’s letting me coach and at the same time he understands what we need in a roster and I think he’s going to build that.”

Here’s more from Cleveland:

  • Hiring Beilein was a risky move for Altman, Fedor contends in the same piece. There haven’t been many college coaches who have found success in the NBA, though Altman’s willingness to think outside the box is part of the reason that he landed an extension with the Cavaliers. “Koby has been a culture-driver and an innovator who has built a fresh, new foundation and environment for our front office and team that inspires everyone involved,” team owner Dan Gilbert said. “…I look forward to seeing his hard work and creativity continue to make us better and help guide the team towards reaching our goals for years to come.”
  • Altman believes the security the Cavaliers gave him in his long-term extension will allow him to carry out his plan for the team, Fedor relays in separate piece“Started as a scout, working my way up all the way to assistant general manager and now this,” Altman. “It’s been a lot of growth and development from my standpoint. Really appreciative of that. It’s a great sign for the franchise that we have stability and continuity moving forward. It gives us unlimited potential.” We passed along more of Altman’s comments on Monday.
  • Kevin Porter Jr. has been suspended for one game by the league. The rookie made contact with a referee during the Cavaliers‘ loss to the Mavericks on Sunday.

Cavs GM Altman Talks Osman, Love, Next Moves

While the Cavaliers didn’t reveal any specific details about the contract extension general manager Koby Altman signed on Friday, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com says Altman’s new deal is believed to run through the 2023/24 season, matching head coach John Beilein‘s contract.

According to Fedor, internal dialogue about extending Altman’s contract began shortly after the Cavs’ 2018/19 season ended. When the two sides finalized that deal on Friday, Altman became the first Cleveland general manger to receive a contract extension since Dan Gilbert assumed ownership of the franchise in 2005.

As Fedor writes, Altman and Gilbert have been in “lockstep” when it comes to expectations and organizational philosophies since LeBron James left as a free agent in 2018. Gilbert hasn’t pushed the front office to make the Cavs as competitive as quickly as possible or set any specific dates for a return to contention, and has been entirely on board with the club’s approach to its rebuild.

“Where we are now we have a pretty clear direction and vision, and I think Dan aligns well with a big-picture, three-to-five-year plan. I think our vision is very, very clear,” Altman said, adding that Gilbert is “super excited” about the future draft picks the Cavs have acquired and the flexibility the team has going forward.

Fedor’s article provides an in-depth look at where things stand with Altman and the Cavs, and is worth reading in full — especially for Cleveland fans. Here are a few more of the most noteworthy comments from the Cavs’ GM, via Fedor:

On the Cavaliers’ rebuilding philosophy:

“We’re trying to build this thing with great attitude, great work ethic, and guys who really want to be in Cleveland. Me and Coach Beilein really align on those values. We’ve started to see some of that. Cedi Osman clearly could have gone into the open market next year and tried free agency, but this is where he wants to be. He feels this is home for him. Same thing with Larry Nance Jr. and Kevin Love. Those are meaningful things for us and those are true Cavaliers.”

On potential next moves:

“We are still in evaluation mode with our team, with the new parts, the staff, the offense, and we like our guys. There’s no sense of urgency to rush to do anything. Last year I think was a little bit different in terms of we knew we wanted to recoup a lot of different draft assets. Where we are now: We have great flexibility, we’re one of four teams that has over $20MM in cap space next summer, so we’re not in any rush to do anything drastic.”

On Kevin Love and his four-year contract extension:

“He knew this was going to be a process,. He knew we were going to bring in some younger guys. He knew we were going to build. He was all-in for that. … For a guy that is a five-time All-Star, loves it here, wants to help us grow, I don’t know how you replace a player that caliber. He’s been great and meaningful to our guys. We are a much better team with him on the floor. The city has embraced him, he’s embraced the city and so it would be really, really tough to move on from him.”

On whether there’s any interest in trading Love:

“No. Not at all.”

Central Notes: Oladipo, Lopez, R. Jackson, Gilbert

Nearly eight months after having surgery on a ruptured quad tendon, Victor Oladipo doesn’t want to talk about the rehab process, writes Scott Agness of The Athletic. Oladipo began on-court workouts in June, but he hasn’t practiced against anyone. He said he’s working on “a little bit of everything,” but doesn’t want to give away any secrets.

“Ah, I’m getting there,” Oladipo said. “I’m working my way there. You can’t rush these things, you just got to take your time. At the end of the day, Rome wasn’t built in one day.”

People close to Oladipo have talked about his work ethic and dedication. He has adapted his shooting method and now has a smoother shot with a quicker release. The Pacers are monitoring his progress, but haven’t set any sort of timetable for his return.

“I’m just excited to play basketball again, honestly,” Oladipo said. “Just go out there and compete at the highest level possible. I got a lot to let go, so I’m looking forward to letting it go.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Bucks center Brook Lopez tells Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype that he enjoyed July’s free agent frenzy just like any other fan. “Man, it was so entertaining – first and foremost,” Lopez said. “Just as a fan of the game – waiting for all of those Woj Bombs and news updates – it really was exciting! As a player, it’s exciting too. I mean, everyone has said it, but I think the level of parity is really exciting because there are a number of teams that, I think, are contenders now. It’s just great for basketball because it’s going to be such a competitive league this year.” 
  • Getting past the effects of two serious injuries helped Pistons guard Reggie Jackson enjoy a revival last season, observes Keith Langlois of NBA.com. Jackson was slowed by left knee tendinosis during the 2016/17 season and a grade-3 right ankle sprain in 2017/18. Jackson started to feel fully healthy around mid-season and averaged 16.9 PPG after February 1.
  • Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert was released from a Chicago rehabilitation facility this week after spending two months there following a stroke, relays Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.

Central Notes: Garland, Bulls, GRIII, Cavs

The Bulls‘ reported interest in Darius Garland may be a smokescreen, one source tells Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. That source believes Chicago is more focused on forwards like De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish, or Sekou Doumbouya.

Garland is expected to be selected with the No. 4 overall pick in tonight’s draft, so the Bulls would need to put together a package that entices the Pelicans in order to land him, assuming their interest is real. Even if Chicago managed to add Garland, the team would look to bring in a veteran point guard, a source tells Cowley.

Patrick Beverley could be an addition this offseason, as there are reports of mutual interest between him and the Bulls. Chicago wants to add depth, so the club could sign multiple players in free agency. Cowley names Ish Smith and Cory Joseph as potential targets in addition to Beverley.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Pistons will likely decline Glenn Robinson III‘s team option for the 2019/20 season, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free press tweets. A source also told James Edwards III of The Athletic (Twitter link) that the option is unlikely to be picked up. The Michigan product would have earned slightly below $4.3MM next season if the option was exercised.
  • Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is out of the hospital and will undergo “intensive” rehab, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com relays on Twitter. Gilbert suffered a stroke late last month.
  • The Cavaliers have hired Jazz assistant Antonio Lang as an assistant coach on John Beilein‘s new staff, per the team’s website. Tony Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link) first reported that Cleveland was prying Lang from Utah.

Central Notes: Bulls, Gasol, Cavs, Pacers, Pistons

There’s a growing belief around the NBA that the Bulls are open to discussing trades for anyone on their roster – and any assets they hold – besides Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr., sources familiar with the team’s plans tell Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic.

Still, while the Bulls will likely consider a number of trade options this offseason, Mayberry makes a case that the club shouldn’t part ways with the No. 7 overall pick. Mayberry argues that cashing in their chips now for a veteran could be both premature and risky for the Bulls, who would have marginal assets available going forward. Plus, the No. 7 selection has proven valuable for the franchise in recent years — Markkanen and Carter were both selected at that spot.

Meanwhile, K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune tackles a handful of Bulls-related topics in his latest mailbag, exploring draft, trade, and free agency options. Johnson believes the Bulls would “absolutely” try to get involved as a facilitator in a multi-team Anthony Davis trade, and later suggests that if Chicago pursues an RFA point guard, Malcolm Brogdon is probably a more realistic target than D’Angelo Russell.

Here’s more from around the Central:

Central Notes: Gilbert, Turner, McMillan, M. Williams

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert won’t be involved with the team’s draft preparations as he continues to recover from a stroke, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Gilbert is still in a Detroit-area hospital, and Quicken Loans CEO Jay Farner issued a statement today suggesting that the recovery might be lengthy.

“Dan’s recovery is a process that will take time — but we are all confident that he will meet this challenge head on as he always does,” Farner wrote.

Sources tell Fedor that Gilbert has already approved an aggressive spending plan if GM Koby Altman believes it’s necessary to improve the team. That includes taking back a sizable contract to get rid of J.R. Smith, who was exiled from the team after playing just 11 games this season. Cleveland owns picks No. 5 and 26 in the draft and will reportedly try to buy into the second round.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Competing for a spot on Team USA for the FIBA World Cup tournament will give Pacers center Myles Turner another shot to gain recognition after being left off the All-Defensive team, notes Scott Agness of The Athletic. Turner led the league in total blocked shots with 199 and blocks per game at 2.7, but didn’t receive first- or second-team honors. Two of Turner’s teammates, Lithuanian center Domantas Sabonis and Canadian guard Cory Joseph, will be in China for the tournament.
  • Pacers coach Nate McMillan was slated to be an assistant to Gregg Popovich on Team USA, but he withdrew after Indiana was scheduled for a trip to India in early October, Agness adds in the same piece. The World Cup title game is September 15, and McMillan wants to focus on his NBA responsibilities. “My first priority is the Pacers,” he said. “I committed to USA Basketball before I got the schedule next season for us.”
  • Former Heat guard Matt Williams was invited to a free agent mini-camp with the Pistons, tweets Nicola Lupo of Sportando. Williams appeared in three games as a two-way player for Miami during the 2017/18 season before playing this year in Finland and Greece. Forward Marc Loving, formerly of Ohio State, also received an invitation (Twitter link). He played in the G League this season.

Dan Gilbert Hospitalized With Stroke Symptoms

8:53pm: Gilbert is awake, responsive and resting comfortably after a catheter-based procedure for a stroke, per a team release relayed in a tweet by Marc Stein of The New York Times.

8:58am: Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert was admitted to Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital in Michigan early on Sunday after suffering symptoms of a stroke, according to a report from Nolan Finley and Kim Kozlowski of The Detroit News.

Gilbert’s family requested privacy, so details on his diagnosis and prognosis weren’t made available. However, a statement issued by the Quicken Loans group on Sunday indicated that Gilbert is on his way to making a recovery.

“He received immediate medical attention and is currently recovering comfortably,” the statement indicated. “Our collective thoughts and prayers are with Dan for a speedy recovery.”

Gilbert has been the Cavaliers’ majority owner since 2005, overseeing most of LeBron James‘ two stints with the franchise. Under Gilbert, the Cavs have made the NBA Finals five times and won their first title in 2016. The club invested especially heavily in its roster during the 2015-18 run of four straight Finals appearances, with Gilbert footing significant tax bills.

Dan Gilbert: “We Killed It” In The Kyrie Irving Trade

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert continues to insist that his team got the better of the deal that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston before the start of the 2017/18 season, relays Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com.

Irving still had two years left on his contract when he asked for a trade to get him away from the team’s uncertain future in the wake of LeBron James‘ upcoming free agency. The Cavaliers agreed to his demand, getting Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a draft pick that became Collin Sexton.

“It becomes a melting snowball,” Gilbert said. “We had to trade him when we did. What team would want Kyrie with only one year on his contract knowing he could leave after the season? You won’t get much back (under those circumstances).”

In addition, Irving’s agent implied that if the trade demand wasn’t met, his client might undergo knee surgery that would keep him out for most of the year. Irving wound up having two operations on his knee last season and missed the playoffs.

Gilbert expects Irving to move on again when he becomes a free agent this summer.

“I don’t know, but I think Kyrie will leave Boston,” he said. “We could have ended up with nothing. Looking back after all the moves (GM) Koby (Altman) made, we killed it in that trade.”

Gilbert shares his views on a few other topics in the same story:
  • James comes with “a limited shelf life” because of his age and contract situation, Gilbert said. LeBron reached the NBA Finals in all four years of his most recent stay in Cleveland, but was never willing to sign a long-term commitment, giving himself flexibility to leave if he didn’t like how the team was being run. “It’s a win now at all costs,” Gilbert said. “… It all revolves around the sun, which is him. Whatever pressure comes with it, it worked out. We won a title.”
  • Gilbert denies that he was responsible for the decision to hire Michigan’s John Beilein as the team’s new coach. He said Altman came up with the idea and led a group of eight front office representatives who met with Beilein. “All eight loved him,” Gilbert said. “All eight wanted to hire him. They were polled individually. That caught my attention. This was a week before I met with John.” He also called the financial aspects of Beilein’s new five-year contract “very reasonable.”
  • Unlike when LeBron left in 2010, Gilbert knows there’s no chance he will return someday to resurrect the franchise. So the focus now is creating a successful organization from scratch. “We have to build a culture and a team, beyond just adding a lot more talent,” Gilbert said. “I really believe in this front office and the coaching staff. We are putting together a team based on culture and character.”

Stein’s Latest: Beilein, Lakers, Rockets

John Beilein, who recently accepted the Cavaliers‘ coaching position, strongly considered the Pistons‘ job last offseason, Marc Stein of the New York Times writes in his latest newsletter. Beilein passed up on the chance to become an NBA head coach then but couldn’t pass up the opportunity this time around in part due to Dan Gilbert. The Cavs owner has a reputation for his willingness to spend when necessary in order to win on the court.

Here’s more from Stein’s latest piece:

  • The Lakers did not formally offer their coaching job to Monty Williams before Williams signed on with the Suns, Stein hears. Williams ultimately decided to go to Phoenix before the competition between he and Tyronn Lue was complete. Stein also hears that Kurt Rambis and Linda Rambis were the strongest supporters of hiring Williams and the couple was the loudest influence when it came to hiring Frank Vogel.
  • Not offering a five-year deal to Lue—a coach that won a championship with LeBron James—was a major mistake for the franchise, Stein opines. Los Angeles only offered Lue a three-year deal, something that Lue had to see as disrespectful.
  • The Rockets may be limited in what they can spend, but don’t count out GM Daryl Morey when it comes to making major moves, Stein contends. Houston doesn’t have much flexibility with regard to signing free agents, as it has roughly $116MM in guaranteed salary on the books for next season. However, we’ve seen Morey pull of unlikely trades in the past, as he did with Chris Paul.