David Blatt’s start as an NBA coach can’t get much better. Upon being hired he was able to lure over Tyronn Lue, the runner up for his job to join his staff. The Cleveland Cavaliers added the top prospect in the NBA Draft in Andrew Wiggins. Signed Kyrie Irving to a contract extension. Signed LeBron James. Signed Mike Miller and James Jones. Have a trade in place to send Wiggins and Anthony Bennett for Kevin Love. Are likely landing spots for Ray Allen and Shawn Marion.
Now comes news that Blatt is adding another veteran, respected coach to his coaching staff. CBS Sports, via the Boston Globe, are reporting that former Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks head coach Larry Drew is joining Blatt’s staff:
Larry Drew has agreed to become a Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach, according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. Drew spent last season on the sidelines in Milwaukee following three as the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks. He was fired by the Bucks after they had agreed to make Jason Kidd his replacement. For the millionth time, Milwaukee, that wasn’t a good look.
So not only has Blatt added a young, up and comer in Lue he has not brought in someone who can greatly help him from an experience perspective. Drew got a lot out of his team in Atlanta and had the Bucks playing hard, even though they were out matched in talent. Drew’s years of knowledge and comfort in the NBA will assist Blatt in adjusting to what is normal in the NBA.
According to the CBS report Drew actually visited Blatt two years ago, possibly looking to add him to his Hawks staff. Now the roles are reversed but the two men obviously have a respect for one another.
The Cavs continue to benefit from the Irving, James and Love trio as a championship run as an assistant coach is a fine way for Drew to get another HC position. In the same way that players, like Miller, Jones and hopefully Marion and Allen, want a chance to play with the young stars, coaches see the benefit as well.
Drew is creative in his offensive sets, which fits with Blatt’s experience, and is a level headed “nice guy” which could help the fiery Blatt. While Drew doesn’t move the needle in terms of big impact, the subtle things a experienced head can bring to this team could be the difference between the #1 seed and the 3rd seed, a Finals run and a loss in the Conference Finals. Those are big things, even if they can’t be measured.
What do you think of the Drew hiring?