The Cleveland Cavaliers want to hit a home run with their next coaching hire. Now it’s time to step up to the plate.
The Cavs asked permission to speak with Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Alvin Gentry, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. Gentry is considered the leading candidate for the position due to his relationship with general manager David Griffin dating back to their time together with the Phoenix Suns.
Gentry is expected to meet with the team in the next few days, but no meeting is set up at this point.
Gentry, 59, owns a 335-370 head coaching record, with stints with the Suns, Clippers and Detroit Pistons. He has also served as the interim coach of the Miami Heat, and currently resides as the associate head coach on Doc Rivers‘ staff in Los Angeles.
Gentry has twice led his teams to the postseason. His best season came in 2010 with Phoenix when it won 54 games and reached the Western Conference finals.
Unlike the defensive-minded Mike Brown, Gentry is an offense-based head coach. He helped the Clippers become the most efficient offense in the NBA this season with a 109.4 rating per 100 possessions.
Earlier this week, it was reported that former Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson, former Denver Nuggets coach George Karl and former Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins were in the running for the Cavs job.
The team reportedly is seeking a big-time name, and has gauged Kentucky coach John Calipari about the position. Calipari has since denied interest in leaving Lexington.
Cleveland’s vacancy is all the more attractive after the team secured the top pick in June’s NBA Draft for a second time in as many years on Tuesday night. Whomever takes over as the head coach will likely have Andrew Wiggins or Joel Embiid at their disposal in their first season.