As expected, the Cleveland Cavaliers will part ways with head coach John Beilein, effective immediately. The decision could have a long-term impact on the team’s trade deadline acquisition; Andre Drummond.
According to a report out of The Athletic, it wasn’t long after Drummond’s arrival in Cleveland that he told a teammate that the situation with the Cavs appeared to be worse than the one he left behind.
A key component of the trade that sent Drummond from the Detroit Pistons to Cleveland was his 2020-21 player option worth $28.8M and the growing belief that the big man could exercise that option as opposed to testing free agency.
While Drummond initially said that he would turn down the player option to test the market, Sam Amico of Sports Illustrated reported shortly after the trade that the big man viewed the Cavs as a potential long-term landing spot and that he was expected to pick up the option.
The Athletic report, from less than two weeks after the trade deadline, implies that the presence of Beilein could impact that decision. With Beilein now out of the picture, perhaps it’s more likely that the 26-year-old stays in town to round out a young core with Darius Garland and Collin Sexton.
While there are a number of reasons why the Beilein era in Cleveland represents cultural issues that the franchise needs to overcome, all expertly detailed by the three writers behind the aforementioned piece out of The Athletic, it’s hard to view Beilein’s exit as anything but a good thing for the developing young team heading forward.
J.B. Bickerstaff will take the reins of the team when the second half of the 2019-20 campaign unfolds and while the team may be a lost cause in the win column, all eyes will be on whether or not the team can gain some semblance of forward momentum down the stretch.
If they do, they could have Drummond back in town when they embark upon a fresh start.