Per the Akron Beacon Journal, the Cleveland Cavaliers have asked for permission to speak with Clippers assistant coach Alvin Gentry.
The Cavaliers asked permission to speak with Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Alvin Gentry on Thursday, a league source confirmed.
A separate source with knowledge of the coaching search said the Cavs have not interviewed any candidates yet.
Since the placement of David Griffin into the general manager position in Cleveland, Gentry’s name has been heavily connected to the Cavaliers in regards to a head coaching position. The Journal’s piece falls in line with that.
With Gentry reportedly interviewing for the Utah Jazz job, there’s no reason to assume that the Clippers don’t allow Gentry to interview with the Cavaliers.
Based solely on wins and losses (335-370 as a head coach), Gentry’s talent at the head coaching position isn’t properly reflected.
Gentry kick-started his coaching career spending half a season as the interim head coach in Miami during the 1994-95 season. From 1997 to 2000 he’d coach the Detroit Pistons, but the Grant Hill injuries capped the potential of those clubs. Next would be the Los Angeles Clippers from 2000 to 2003, but those teams also lacked talent, relying on Elton Brand, Lamar Odom, and Corey Magette to carry those teams in the hectic Western Conference. Lastly, after a five-years layoff from the head coaching position, Gentry would be handed over the Phoenix Suns on an interim basis following the firing of Terry Porter. The next season he’d lead the most talented roster he’s been equipped with to the Western Conference where luck shaded toward the Los Angeles Lakers who’d win the series 4-2.
Now if given a chance to lead the Cavaliers, the odds of him doing well based on what the team has in their current arsenal are much higher. Kyrie Irving is the centerpiece and he’s shown no reason to think he won’t continue to grow as a player. And with Gentry’s elite offense placing Irving in the right spaces, allowing his strengths to show, Kyrie may be in order for a career year. They also have the number one overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft along with cap space and trade commodities going into the summer.
If I had to place odds on Gentry’s chances of landing the Cleveland job, I’d go 45 percent. The reason I didn’t go higher is because there’s a chance that Cleveland pulls out all stops in attempt to reel in Lebron James this summer, which would mean hiring a guy they think he’d like.
But if Dan Gilbert has moved on from that pipe dream, the Cavs may be set to land one of the better coaches available on the market in Gentry. With the draft in June, Gentry’s exit from the Clippers sideline could be within the next few weeks.