New Cavaliers’ GM David Griffin has a very difficult job. We aren’t talking about how his boss seems to want to be involved in the basketball operations, including trying to hire a coach behind his back.
His real problem is evaluating the talent on this team after last season.
We really believe that you have to throw away the seasons that some of the players who have been on the roster for more than two years, particularly Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson.
You also have to discard any evaluation of last year’s first round draft pick, Anthony Bennett.
Irving and Thompson weren’t helped by Mike Brown’s coaching and it was obvious to everyone that the point guard didn’t trust his coach, and it affected his attitude.
That’s why talking about moving Irving is premature, unless he doesn’t sign a contract extension with the wine and gold.
We feel that Irving’s attitude will be much better with a new coaching staff this season. Thompson also leveled out under Brown’s tutelage.
What happens when a coach puts together sets and plays that don’t work, the players lose confidence in him. We all saw the difficulty the Cavs had last season with in bounds plays and plays at the end of games.
It’s easy to see why players like the two third-year players tuned out the head coach, and because of that, it is difficult for Griffin to evaluate both players going forward.
As for Bennett, yes he came to training camp out of shape due to off-season shoulder surgery, but since Brown found little time for Bennett to play, and when he did, he was put into schemes that didn’t put him into situations where he could succeed.
So, that’s three players that the new GM really can’t get a good read on. And he also doesn’t have a good gage on whether or not Dion Waiters can play with Irving because of last year’s coaching staff.
Tyler Zeller? Who knows? Brown hardly played him last season.
Outside of Waiters, what player who was here in 2012-13 made any progress in their game? You can’t name any. That’s why it is a difficult job for Griffin.
He does have to hire a coach soon, if only to get the new headman’s opinion on possible moves in free agency and in the draft. Whatever personnel moves they are considering, isn’t it better to find out what the guy who will be dealing with the players on a day in, day out basis is thinking?
We would support the hiring of either David Blatt or Lionel Hollins, who hasn’t received a second interview as of yet.
Blatt appears to be a true coach, a teacher, someone who will put players in a system that will take advantage of their abilities. That’s what this group needs. If his stuff works, the players will have confidence in him and play for him. That’s how it works.
As for Hollins, he would bring an attitude of winning. He would make it clear that losing is no longer tolerated. That change in culture is also needed. In the past few years, winning hasn’t been the first priority for the Cavs.
To be sure, Griffin didn’t take the gig because he thought it would be easy, he obviously loves a challenge.
However, what happened last year probably set the franchise back a year in the rebuilding effort. That’s something he has to overcome.