John Beilein

Pistons Notes: Joseph, Draft, Beilein, J. Allen

The Pistons‘ luck in the draft lottery could determine whether Cory Joseph returns next season, according to Rod Beard of The Detroit News. If Detroit takes Cade Cunningham or Jalen Suggs, the front office may decide it has too many point guards on the roster to keep Joseph. He has a $2.4MM guarantee on his $12.6MM contract for next season that kicks in if he’s still on the roster August 1.

Joseph will turn 30 in August and he slipped into a veteran mentor’s role after being acquired from the Kings at the trade deadline. He put up career-best numbers in 19 games with the Pistons, averaging 12.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists per night, and Beard believes the chances are “a little above 50-50” that the team will keep him.

There’s more from Detroit:

  • Former G League Ignite star Jalen Green might be the best option for the Pistons in the draft if they don’t land the top pick, Beard adds in the same piece. He sees Suggs as similar to incumbent point guard Killian Hayes — a good lead guard but not an exceptional shooter. Cunningham’s mix of both skills makes him the ideal choice, Beard states.
  • The Pistons hired former Cavaliers head coach John Beilein as a senior advisor last week to oversee the team’s six development coaches and ensure a consistent message throughout the organization, writes Keith Langlois of NBA.com. With 11 players age 24 or younger, Detroit is counting on individual improvement as the most likely way to become a contender again.
  • Celtics assistant coach Jerome Allen met today with the Pistons about an offer to join Dwane Casey’s staff, tweets Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Allen reportedly interviewed for the head coaching job in Boston and may get an interview in Portland as well.

Pistons Notes: Diallo, Polinsky, Beilein, Jersey Sponsor

The Pistons traded for 22-year old Hamidou Diallo two weeks before this season’s trade deadline, and it appears they liked what they saw from the athletic wing in his 20 games in Detroit. Pistons GM Troy Weaver helped draft Diallo during his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder, and, as NBA.com’s Keith Langlois writes, Weaver still has sky-high expectations for Diallo.

Hami, he fits what we’re trying to do here,” Weaver said. “Tremendous mindset, tremendous competitor. Defensive mindset, athletic and he brings it. You can never have too many guys that have that mindset and that competitiveness.

Diallo, one of the better rebounding guards in the league, with an improving jump shot and a limitless supply of energy, is set to hit restricted free agency this summer, but Weaver seems to expect he’ll be back in Detroit next season.

Here’s more on the Pistons:

  • The Pistons and senior director of player personnel Gregg Polinsky have agreed to part ways, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks, despite the success of recent draftees Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart. This comes as part of a larger shake-up within the team’s development staff.
  • Keith Langlois writes about how the hiring of ex-Michigan head coach John Beilein as senior advisor of player development points to a larger trend for the Pistons. Between head coach Dwayne Casey, assistant coach Tim Grgurich and the new addition of Beilein, Weaver and team owner Tom Gores have prioritized building a robust and experienced development staff as the team enters a rebuilding period. “With the age of our core group, I wanted to add to our excellent developmental staff,” Casey said in a statement issued by the Pistons. “John is a basketball lifer with a passion to help young players get better, especially in the area of shooting. We have an excellent group of young development coaches who have done a good job with our young core.”
  • The Pistons have announced a new jersey sponsor: United Wholesale Mortgage. The Pistons’ previous uniform patch sponsor was Flagstar Bank.

Pistons Hire John Beilein As Senior Advisor

JUNE 2: The Pistons have announced the hiring of Beilein, confirming in a press release that his new title is senior advisor/player development. He’ll work closely with Detroit’s coaching staff and development coaches to “analyze, implement, and execute player skill development programs,” according to the club.

“There is nothing more important to our franchise right now than the growth and development of our players,” team owner Tom Gores said in a statement. “Having spent time with John, we all know he is one of the best teachers in the game of basketball at any level. Dwane’s decision and desire to bring him on board underscores our commitment to helping this young Pistons team maximize its potential. John will be a real asset to the organization and we are fortunate to have him join us.”


JUNE 1: The Pistons are hiring former Cavaliers head coach and longtime University of Michigan coach John Beilein as their senior advisor of player development, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets.

The team will announce the hire this week, Stein adds.

Following great success at the college level, Beilein was hired as Cleveland’s head coach prior to the 2019/20 season. Beilein resigned after just 54 games, going 14-40 amid player complaints that he was out of touch and ill-suited for the NBA game.

Beilein spent the past college season as an analyst for the Big Ten Network.

Beilein was a frequent presence at Pistons games this season and the plan to bring him into the fold has been in the works for some time, James Edwards III of The Athletic tweets, adding that coach Dwane Casey strongly supports the move.

Beilein Not A Candidate In Wake Forest’s Coaching Search

APRIL 27: Wake Forest is moving forward with its head coaching search and has identified at least five potential candidates, according to Evan Daniels of 247Sports.com, who hears from multiple sources that Beilein is not a candidate (Twitter links).

APRIL 25: Wake Forest announced the dismissal of head coach Danny Manning earlier today, and former Cavaliers coach John Beilein has emerged on the rumor mill as a popular candidate to take over the program.

Beilein’s transition to the NBA didn’t go as planned after decades of success at the college level, particularly at Michigan, where he turned the Wolverines into one of the best programs in the nation. Beilein compiled a 14-40 record in Cleveland and experienced frequent problems relating to players before resigning in February.

He was reassigned to another job with the organization and still has a five-year contract with the team, but the Cavs are considered very likely to let him go if he gets another NCAA opportunity.

The Demon Deacons need a quick turnaround, writes Jeff Borzello of ESPN. Wake Forest never able to post a .500 record in the ACC under Manning and finished 12th or worse in the conference in five of his six seasons. He leaves the school with an overall record of 78-111.

The need for a big-name replacement makes Beilein the best available candidate, according to Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News. Beilein would bring instant respect to the program, DeCourcy contends, and he could once again team up with his son, Patrick, who was hired at Niagara last year but resigned before the season began.

However, in his ratings of the top candidates, Borzello doesn’t see Wake Forest as the best situation for Beilein. He notes that Beilein may not want to step into a rebuilding situation at age 67, and the university may not be able to meet his salary demands after reaching a buyout agreement with Manning. Beilein made $4MM with the Cavaliers this season and $2.5MM during his final year at Michigan.

And-Ones: Mannion, Beilein, WNBA, Pitino

Arizona point guard Nico Mannion, one of the top college players in the country, has not made a decision on whether or not his first season as a Wildcat will be his last, despite reports to the contrary, per Sam Vecenie of The Athletic (Twitter link).

“He will make that decision after the season,” the 19-year-old’s father Pace Mannion told Vecenie on March 8. With the NCAA season officially canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that determination may be coming up sooner than the Mannion family was anticipating.

There’s more from around the basketball world:

  • After resigning as Cavaliers head coach last month, John Beilein was hired as an analyst for the Big Ten Network studio team ahead of the anticipated start of the Big Ten Conference Tournament and March Madness, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. With the NCAA season canceled, Beilein may not have much to analyze for a while. Though Beilein is the winningest coach in Michigan basketball history, he struggled in the NBA, coaching the Cavaliers to a 14-40 record during 2019/20.
  • Rick Pitino will return to college coaching at Iona College, per Forbes’ Adam Zagoria.“My passion in basketball started in New York and will end there at Iona College,” Pitino said. Pitino has been coaching Greek EuroLeague club Panathinaikos since 2018. He last coached in the NCAA for the University of Louisville from 2001-2017.
  • WNBA executive director Terri Jackson spoke with Mark Medina of USA Today about the coronavirus and president Donald Trump’s travel ban precluding foreign nationals from traveling to the US from most European countries. Several WNBA players spend their offseasons overseas to supplement their earnings with more lucrative paydays from the international leagues. “Understanding [President Trump’s European] travel ban and understanding what came out of the White House is tough to grapple with,” Jackson told Medina.

Cavaliers Notes: Beilein, Bickerstaff, Rebuild

On the day that he officially stepped down as the Cavaliers‘ head coach, John Beilein met with players for one last time in the team’s film room and explained his decision to them, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, who says that Beilein showed “honesty, dignity, authenticity, and vulnerability” in his farewell on Wednesday.

Beilein insisted the club isn’t as far away as its dismal 14-40 record suggests, but told players that in his current state, he didn’t feel as if he could make a “positive impact” on them anymore as their coach, per Fedor.

“It took a real man to do that today,” Kevin Love said of Beilein’s comments. “Seeing him being vulnerable and treating us with respect and empathy, I thought it was super powerful. He came in and we all, I think the players, the coaches, himself, we all talked about some of the successes and failures that we had and talked about how it’s really, really hard to lose in this league.”

As Fedor details, Love suggested there was plenty of blame to go around for how the situation in Cleveland played out. Although Beilein struggled to adjust to the NBA, Love said the team’s performance this season isn’t just on “one man,” adding that losing so many games was hard on everyone.

“I think losing definitely drove … you saw me, I went a little crazy myself,” Love said. “After winning for so long and having such an elite program and you’re winning so many games, it’s a shock. So many things are different at this level, but even wins and losses, sometimes you try too hard not to become numb to it, but when they’re stacking up so fast and in the fashion that you lose and it’s the middle of January, you’ve played so many games, it’s not like you get that much happiness out of (the occasional win).”

Here’s more out of Cleveland:

  • Within that same story and in a tweet, Fedor clarifies that the Cavaliers don’t intend to conduct a head coaching search this spring, noting that J.B. Bickerstaff‘s ascension to the head coaching role was essentially built into his contract. That agreement was a “big reason” why Bickerstaff chose to come to Cleveland — his promotion just wasn’t expected to happen this soon.
  • In a separate Cleveland.com story, Fedor takes a deep dive behind the scenes on how things went south for Beilein and the Cavs. The piece covers much of the same ground that The Athletic’s report on Wednesday did, but includes several new details and quotes. One player said Beilein treated Cavs players like “college kids” instead of “grown men.” Fedor also hears that many players were “shocked” by the timing of Beilein’s departure, thinking it would happen at season’s end.
  • In an Insider-only article for ESPN.com, Kevin Pelton explores the next steps in the Cavaliers’ rebuilding process. As Pelton observes, even among Cleveland’s most obvious long-term building blocks – such as Darius Garland and Collin Sexton – there’s no clear future All-Star, which puts added pressure on GM Koby Altman as he continues searching for top-tier talent.

John Beilein Resigns As Cavaliers Coach

After days of rumors that he was on the way out, John Beilein has officially resigned as coach of the Cavaliers, the team announced in a press release. Beilein will remain with the team and will be assigned to a different role.

“Over these last nine months, I have given my all to this organization, but after much reflection, I have decided that it is best that I step back and resign from my position as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers and assist the organization in a different capacity,” Beilein said. “I am very grateful to (owner) Dan Gilbert, (general manager) Koby Altman and the entire Cavaliers organization for the opportunity they have provided me.”

Beilein, 67, had a rocky road throughout his first NBA season after four decades of success in the college ranks. He posted a 14-40 record, but the losing was expected with a rebuilding team. It was Beilein’s coaching style that reportedly alienated many of his players, and he often seemed out of touch with the NBA game.

Beilein was second-guessing his decision to leave Michigan as far back as the preseason, according to a report from The Athletic this morning. He found that his players didn’t respond well to lengthy practices and film sessions, and he wasn’t used to the idea of load management to help veterans get through an 82-game season.

“This was a very difficult decision for me,” Beilein added in the press release, “but I want to be clear – this was my decision to step down and I truly appreciate the understanding and support of the front office during this time. I find losing very challenging and this year has taken a much bigger toll on me than I expected. I grew concerned for the consequences this toll could potentially take on my own health and my family’s well-being down the road. I was not certain I could be at my best for the remainder of the season and in the future. That would not be fair to the players, coaches and support staff.”

Beilein’s new role and how long he will remain there haven’t been determined, tweets Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Sources expect Beilein to be heavily involved with the draft because of his connections to the college game.

Beilein spent 12 years at Michigan, leading the team to nine NCAA Tournament appearances and two Final Fours. He compiled 829 total college wins with 20 postseason appearances. Those credentials convinced the Cavaliers to gamble on him despite a lack of NBA experience, giving him a five-year contract in May.

“John Beilein is one of the more accomplished basketball coaches in the history of our game and while it’s unexpected, we understand and respect his decision to step down as head coach of the Cavaliers,” Altman said. “I was excited about the development of our young players, who have all shown growth and maturity under Coach Beilein. We are thankful for the time he spent as head coach with the Cavaliers and are looking forward to his continued contribution. The NBA is a unique business that sometimes requires aggressive risk-taking on important long-term decisions to move a franchise forward and ultimately compete for championships. I would like to thank the incredible fans of the Cavaliers for their support in both good and challenging times. Building a strong culture will continue to be the top priority here at the Cavaliers.”

As expected, assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff will be promoted to replace Beilein. He has previous experience as a head coach with the Rockets and Grizzlies, compiling an 85-131 record. Every assistant coach is likely to be promoted, according to Fedor, which means Lindsay Gottlieb figures to move to the front of the bench (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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 Part Ways With John Beilein, Promote J.B. Bickerstaff

The Cleveland Cavaliers and coach John Beilein are officially parting ways, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com reports. J.B. Bickerstaff will be promoted to the head coaching role and won’t receive an “interim” tag.

Beilein began talking to general manager Koby Altman about the possibility of stepping down from his position before the All-Star break began, sources tell Wojnarowski. He’ll have an opportunity to say goodbye to players and staff on Wednesday once the team returns from its All-Star break. He’ll end his brief tenure in Cleveland with a record of 14-40.

We heard earlier today that Beilein was expected to walk away from the remainder of his four-year contract, which he signed this past summer. The pact, which featured a fifth-year team option, would have paid him approximately $4-5M per season. Wojnarowski suggests the two sides reached a settlement that will pay Beilein some of the money remaining on his 2019/20 salary.

A longtime college coach, Beilein joined the Cavaliers after a successful run at the University of Michigan, but never fully adjusted to or got comfortable in the NBA, according to a report earlier this week. His son Patrick Beilein’s resignation from his head coaching job at Niagara in October reportedly took a toll on the Cavs’ coach. The younger Beilein stepped down for personal reasons before coaching his first game at Niagara.

On- and off-court issues for the Cavaliers piled up during Beilein’s first year. A report in December suggested that his coaching style was alienating some players. About a month later, the 67-year-old was at the center of a mini-controversy when he reportedly told his players they were no longer playing “like a bunch of thugs.” Beilein, who said he had intended to say “slugs,” apologized to the team.

On top of all that, the Cavaliers have struggled this season to balance developing their young prospects with keeping their veteran players happy. Kevin Love has publicly expressed his frustration with the situation in Cleveland multiple times this season, and both Love and Tristan Thompson reportedly wanted to be moved before the trade deadline.

Although management and ownership was committed to seeing things through with Beilein, the veteran coach was described as being unhappy in Cleveland, according to Wojnarowski. There had been rumblings for several days suggesting that his time as Cavs head coach would end sooner rather than later.

As for Bickerstaff, he’s in his first season as an associate head coach in Cleveland. He led the Grizzlies for two seasons previously, taking over for David Fizdale as an interim head coach during the 2017/18 season before becoming the club’s official leader in 2018/19.

In addition to his head coaching experience in Memphis, Bickerstaff spent five seasons on Houston’s bench and served as an interim head coach briefly for the Rockets after Kevin McHale was let go. He began his coaching career at the age of 24 as an assistant under his father, Bernie Bickerstaff, on the expansion Bobcats.

Wojnarowski writes that Bickerstaff was hired as part of an eventual succession plan for Beilein, so barring another unexpected turn of events, it sounds like he’ll hold the head coaching job beyond this season.

Luke Adams contributed to this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

J.B. Bickerstaff Expected To Become New Cavaliers Head Coach

John Beilein is not expected to be the coach of the Cavaliers for much longer. According to Shams Charania and Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, resolution of the situation is expected to come on Wednesday.

Sources tell the publication that Beilein is expected to walk away from the remainder of his five-year contract, which is worth approximately $4-5MM per season. The final year of that deal is a team option, however.

J.B. Bickerstaff is expected to get the promotion to head coach. Bickerstaff’s father and former long-time NBA coach, Bernie Bickerstaff, is a senior advisor with the franchise.

The younger Bickerstaff is in his first season as an associate head coach in Cleveland. He led the Grizzlies for two seasons previously, taking on the head coaching role first as an interim head coach during the 2017/18 season before becoming the official leader in 2018/19.

In addition to his head coaching experience, Bickerstaff spent five seasons on Houston’s bench and served as an interim head coach briefly for the Rockets. He began his coaching career at the age of 24 as an assistant on his father’s Bobcats expansion team.

Beilein, who is 67 years old, left Michigan to be the coach of the Cavaliers last summer. Sources tell Charania and Lloyd that several factors played a part in him stepping down, including the fact that the details surrounding his son’s resignation at Niagara University have taken a toll on him.