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Report: Cavaliers reach “handshake” deal to hire Mike Brown

Apr 23, 2013, 3:41 PM EDT

Los Angeles Clippers v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

It’s a very different team than last time he was there, but it appears Mike Brown is returning to Cleveland.

The Cavaliers have a deal in place to bring Mike Brown back as coach, replacing Byron Scott, who replaced Mike Brown three years ago (after Brown had led the Cavaliers to back-to-back 60-win seasons with LeBron James, but lost in the playoffs).

Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal broke the news.

Mike Brown and the Cavaliers have reached a handshake agreement on a new deal, a league source told the Akron Beacon Journal on Tuesday. An official announcement should be made Wednesday.

There are still some issues to work out, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. This is a five-year deal in the $20 million range but with a buyout in the final year, Woj reports. The real issues may revolve around how much say Brown would have players/personnel decisions. But it appears they are not big hurdles to climb as a formal deal is imminent. Also, talks are ongoing about how much the Lakers would still owe Brown of his $4 million salary for next season they were going to have to pay him.

Expect the Cavaliers to insist on an offense-minded assistant coach to run that end of the show.

Brown had started the season as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, trying to install a Princeton-hybrid offense that Kobe Bryant has asked for, but that lasted all of five games before he was fired. In an effort to talk to every Lakers coach of the last decade (except Frank Hamblen) the Cavaliers also reached out to Phil Jackson. But bringing him out of retirement was going to be very costly and he would want a lot of power.

Brown makes more sense. Yes, he’s a retread. But he’s a defense-first coach and that is what he Cavaliers need right now — they can score as long as Kyrie Irving is healthy, but they were 26th in the NBA in defensive efficiency (points allowed per possession) last season. Improve that end and the team can make a big jump.

Some of you will be asking “what does this do to Cleveland’s chances to land LeBron in 2014?” I would say nothing — I don’t think Cleveland was ever really in the running. I don’t think there is much of a running, period. Despite how much people like to speculate about it, very few people in the know think LeBron is leaving Miami when he opts out, he’s just going to get a new deal with the Heat. I’ve heard multiple people who know LeBron better than I say they think he will return to Cleveland at the end of his career, but not in 2014.

  1. 4thquartermagic - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Meaning, Phil said no thanks.

  2. asimonetti88 - Apr 23, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Doesn’t make sense to me. They’ve been there done that with Brown. There are plenty of other defense-first coaches they could have hired. I think with a young team they should look to a young coach to grow with the team, like Orlando did with Jacque Vaughn.

    • broncobeta - Apr 23, 2013 at 6:47 PM

      Have I ever told the what the definition of insanity is?

  3. bougin89 - Apr 23, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    A guy like Stan Van Gundy would make a lot of sense for Cleveland. Not sure going back to Mike Brown helps them. Maybe the Bucks will make a run at Stan this summer.

  4. sire2334 - Apr 23, 2013 at 4:49 PM


  5. blantoncollier - Apr 23, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Mike Brown is a good coach but this seems like an odd hire. He isnt Gene Shue, Red Holzman, Phil Jackson, Lenny Wilkens or some of the other coaches that been hired and made comebacks.

    Unless there is a clear offensive strategy in place when they hire him, with a strong offensive coach already in the fold, I dont get this hire.

    I would have preferred Mike Malone, Nate McMillian or Brain Shaw.

  6. clevelandschronic2 - Apr 23, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    I read somewhere a couple days ago stan doesnt want to coach. Not sure if he didnt want to coach the cavs or just doesnt wanna coach again… Yet!

  7. clevelandschronic2 - Apr 23, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Idk what to think about this right now. I appreciate what mike did in his time here prior. The defense was outstanding but i remember how stagnant the offense was. Most people know mike didnt get a fair shot in LA (shortened 66 gm season then 5 gms into a season with a completely new roster and offense, kobe wanted the princeton) and i believe he has learned from the mistakes he did make while here n in LA but i will reseve judgement on this hire til i see his coaching staff. I just ddont know what to think

  8. burm61 - Apr 23, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    Isn’t this like hooking up with a girl, then your friend hooks up with her later and you give him crap about sloppy seconds… and then you go back to her.

  9. pantsfreezone - Apr 23, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    God doesn’t hate Cleveland. God hates stupid people. Ergo, God does in fact hate Cleveland sport franchises.

    • deavn - Apr 24, 2013 at 9:40 AM

      oh, the irony

  10. steelers4385 - Apr 23, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Omg.. Worst franchise, city, state ever. What is so hard about realizing this guy couldnt coach his way out of a revolving door.

    • asimonetti88 - Apr 23, 2013 at 9:18 PM

      Worst city? You must not have been to Needles, California before. They have a lovely jail and many wonderful fast food joints.

  11. misterdreamer119 - Apr 23, 2013 at 6:05 PM


  12. jrs45 - Apr 23, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Cavs and Pirates are the worse franchises in all of sports.

  13. bux1022 - Apr 23, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    At least in Cali u can smoke your sorrows away!! I’ll take Needles over Cleveland!

  14. jj871 - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    So he was bad enough to get fired a few years ago, but now after an unsuccessful, albeit brief, stint as the Laker’s coach he’s good enough to get hired? Huh? Yet another confusing move by a sports franchise from Cleveland.

  15. ryanrockzzz - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:44 AM

    Coaching in the NBA is crazy. If I were a good coach, I would never leave the NCAA. Brown got fired because of Lebron, and will probably be fired again in a few years if Irving doesn’t like him. Overall though, I think he’s a good coach, and much better then Byron Scott.

  16. omniusprime - Apr 24, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    The mismanagement of the Cadavers better wash their hands because they got a lot of brown stinky stuff all over them after rehiring Clueless Clown Brown, the most pathetic excuse for an NBA coach. Glad the Lakers dumped him last year before he wrecked another season, sad that Jerky Boy Jimmie hired the second worst coach in the NBA to replace brown.

    Hopefully Kyrie Irving understands his chances of ever winning are done with in Cleveland so he needs to get hired by the Lakers.

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