Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum (0) drives to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers’ Larry Nance Jr. (22) and Jordan Clarkson (8) during the second half of Game 6 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals Friday, May 25, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Larry Drew agreed to a new contract to formalize his role as their head coach on Monday.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Drew is the head coach for the remainder of the 2018-19 campaign and “has an agreement for 2019-20” if Cleveland elects to maintain his position. If it doesn’t, he will receive a buyout.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Coach Drew to continue leading the team on the court. He brings important experience and many qualities that we expect to translate well with our team as the head coach,” general manager Koby Altman said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to the ways he can impact the team and help our players continue to grow and find success.”

Drew, 60, ostensibly took over the position when the Cavs fired Tyronn Lue on Oct. 28. However, he did not have the formal title of head coach because he refused to take the position without a more substantial commitment from the Cavs.

“I am not the interim coach, I’m the voice right now,” Drew told reporters. “I’m sure you guys are aware that there is some talks that are going on. I don’t know if any type of agreement or settlement will be made. I am prepared either way. I’ll continue to do my job.”

The Cavs were 0-6 when they fired Lue. They have gone 1-2 since Drew has taken over the lead “voice” role. Kevin Love is expected to miss extended time while recovering from a toe injury, LeBron James is in Los Angeles, and the Cavs are in full-scale tear down mode—something Drew made clear he’s comfortable doing.

“I would like to be a part of it long term, to be perfectly honest,” the 60-year-old Drew said. “Rebuilding is not an easy thing to do. It’s usually something that takes a little time. If it’s going to take some time, I’d like to be a part of it. I made the organization pretty aware of that. It’s not going to happen overnight, but I’m committed to helping out and doing what it takes to be a part of that. In order to be a part of that, I feel that it’s going to have to be something done with a little more security.”

Drew previously served as the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks. He compiled a 143-169 record during his four seasons with the two franchises, making three playoff appearances in Atlanta.

The Cavs firing Lue without having their first choice for a replacement locked in speaks to their level of dysfunction at the moment. This is a roster that clearly has some displeased veterans mixing with young guys Cleveland hopes can be part of its next core. Managing the egos of JR Smith and Kyle Korver as they sit the bench in favor of young players for a losing team isn’t an easy task.

It’s unsurprising that Drew would want more long-term security. That doesn’t mean he’s the long-term solution, but securing his bag before a likely house cleaning is a smart move.

Courtesy: Bleacher Report


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