The Cavaliers announced the firing of Lue Sunday afternoon. Cleveland has started the 2018-2019 with a league worst 0-6 record.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) October 28, 2018
The Cavaliers expected to have some growing pains following the departure of LeBron James to the Los Angeles Lakers. Agreeing to contract extensions with Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr. covered the wounds temporarily.
Struggles on the defensive end have been an issue throughout his tender. This season provided an opportunity for Lue to showcase what he can do as an NBA head coach without a superstar on its roster. It wasn’t going well so the change has been made.
“This was a very difficult decision,” Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman said via a team release. “It is especially so, considering Coach Lue’s time with us over the last four years, including four straight trips to the NBA Finals. “We have respect and great admiration for Ty, not only as a coach, but a person. We thank him for the many ways he has contributed to our success, wish him the best and he will always be remembered for leading a very special Cavs team back against the odds to win the title in 2016. This is a different team equation, though, and one that we felt needed a different voice and approach that required this change.”
#Cavs Ty Lue fired. Players aren't happy. According to source, FO had been frustrated with team's lack of competitiveness and feels there's more talent than what has been shown. Lue's handling of playing time has also been area of disappointment https://t.co/BfkwOtH8us
— Chris Fedor (@ChrisFedor) October 28, 2018
The timing of the decision is odd. Six games into the season. Should a change have taken place during the offseason. Once LeBron departed for Los Angeles, the time to rebuild should have begun.
Instead owner Dan Gilbert doesn’t want a full rebuild. As a result, you have a roster mixed with veterans like Love, Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver who will be difficult to trade. The Cavaliers are also short on young talent to develop. The only positive signs for the future are Collin Sexton and Cedi Osman. In addition, their first round pick in 2019 will go to the Atlanta Hawks if the wine and gold does not finish in the top ten in the lottery.
To say the Cavaliers are a mess is an understatement. Larry Drew will serve as the interim head coach.