The move is a surprise to most of the Association. Despite, improving the team's win total after a single season of coaching, newly anointed General Manager David Griffin decided to part ways with the Cavaliers coach. The Griffin hiring was announced in the same press release by the Cavaliers earlier this afternoon.
Locker room turmoil and burdensome expectations likely led to Brown's termination. The strained relationship between star player Kyrie Irving and backcourt mate Dion Waiters turned more sour as the season wore on, eventually finding itself at the heart of several media pieces.
Owner Dan Gilbert publicly declared, before the season, that his team would no longer be in the lottery. He expected to make the playoffs. The Cavaliers proceeded to miss out on the 8th-seed despite the acquisitions of veteran small-forward Luol Deng and center Spencer Hawes.
This is the second time Brown has been fired as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. His first tenure lasted five years, between 2005-2010.
This leaves the Cavaliers in an interesting position moving into free agency. Without a clear philosophy to build around, talent acquisition will likely look to add the best available talent, rather than system-specific players. The team may also make extension offers to Irving and Tristan Thompson, as well as offer contracts to impending free agents C.J. Miles, Deng and Hawes.
The search for a new coach will begin immediately, if it hasn't already begun. Currently, some of the names that are/will be linked to the Cavs include:
- Mark Jackson
- Mike D'Antoni
- Steve Kerr
- Stan Van Gundy
- John Calipari
- Lionel Hollins
Griffin is sure to be aggressive in his pursuit of coaches that fit more of a "run and gun" offense, connected closely with his roots in the Suns organization. Kerr ('07-'10) and D'Antoni ('06-'07) both previously worked with Griffin.
This list will be updated as additional names are brought up throughout the day.
Mark Jackson not to be part of Cavs coaching search, per Emmett Golden of ESPN Cleveland.