Tyronn Lue hasn’t been an NBA head coach since early in the 2018/19 season, when he was let go by the Cavaliers, but it sounds as if it may just be a matter of time before he returns to that role with a new team. Multiple league executives tell Chris Mannix of SI.com that they expect Lue to be a leading candidate for head coaching jobs that may open this offseason.
Lue, who is currently the lead assistant on Doc Rivers‘ Clippers staff, has been identified as a probable candidate for the Nets, who expect to formally open a coaching search when their season ends. He’s also viewed as a potential target for the Pelicans if they decide to move on from Alvin Gentry, in part due to his connection to David Griffin.
In addition to mentioning Brooklyn and New Orleans, Mannix identifies the Rockets and Sixers as other teams that could make coaching changes, though he doesn’t explicitly say that either club would have Lue on its wish list.
Of course, given the financial ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s possible fewer NBA teams than usual will make offseason coaching changes, as they look to avoid paying two coaches at once. In that scenario, Lue’s options figure to be more limited.
Having coached the Cavaliers for two full seasons and parts of two others, Lue compiled a 128-83 (.607) regular season record and a 41-20 (.672) mark in the playoffs, including an NBA title in 2016. Cleveland is already on its third head coach (Larry Drew, John Beilein, J.B. Bickerstaff) since firing Lue following his 0-6 start in ’18/19.