Brian Shaw visits Cavaliers
CLEVELAND – The Cavaliers could be getting close to a major signing.
No, not that one.
The team’s 5-week-old coaching search took another turn on Tuesday as Los Angeles Lakers assistant Brian Shaw met in Cleveland with owner Dan Gilbert and front-office members about the Cavaliers’ coaching vacancy.
The visit comes just a few days before free agency opens with the Cavs hoping they can convince superstar LeBron James to re-sign and come back for an eighth season – and more. Cleveland would like to have a coach in place by July 1 to settle what has so far been a tumultuous offseason.
It is not yet known if the club has offered its coaching position to Shaw, who is also expected to be in town on Tuesday.
The 43-year-old Shaw has spent five seasons on Phil Jackson’s staff in Los Angeles. A 14-year NBA veteran, he has no head coaching experience but is considered a strong candidate to replace Jackson if the 11-time champion retires. Jackson, who has health concerns, is expected to announce his plans later this week.
The Cavaliers have been looking for a coach since firing Mike Brown on May 24 in the aftermath of their second-round playoff loss to Boston. The team was previously turned down by Tom Izzo, who rejected a reported $30 million offer to stay at Michigan State.
Former New Orleans coach Byron Scott is still believed to be the Cavs’ preferred choice to replace Brown. Scott, though, is presumed to be an option for the Lakers if Jackson steps down and may want to wait until the situation is clarified in L.A. before making a move.
Scott has had several talks with the Cavs and met with Gilbert, general manager Chris Grant and other members of Cleveland’s ownership group on Father’s Day in Michigan. However, he was not offered the job as the meeting was mostly a get-to-know-you affair.
Gilbert has said it would be ideal to have a coach in place by the opening of free agency, but Grant, a former South Tahoe High basketball player who took over when Danny Ferry resigned, said last week that the team would not speed up its process.
The team has also had talks with Milwaukee assistant Kelvin Sampson and former Atlanta coach Mike Woodson.
Drafted by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 1988 draft, Shaw retired as a player in 2003. He won three league titles as a guard with the Lakers (2000-02) before becoming the team’s assistant scouting director.
The Cavs have said they would prefer a defensive-minded coach. However, the club is intrigued by Shaw’s knowledge of Jackson’s triangle offense, a system that could entice James to stay with Cleveland.