If owner Dan Gilbert and the team brass make the avoidable mistake of hiring former coach Mike Brown for a second tenure with the club, the Cavs deserve to remain mired in mediocrity for the foreseeable future.
While Brown never missed the postseason during his five seasons with the organization (2005 to 2010), much of that success and credit belongs to LeBron James, as the superstar put a woeful group of teammates on his back and dragged them there.
Had LBJ been replaced with an average player, there is no feasible way Brown would have been able to attain a 272-138 regular-season record or been able to navigate Cleveland through to the NBA Finals in 2007.
Instead of hiring a coach that Gilbert fired in 2010 for failing to advance to the NBA Finals and capture a title with one of the league’s best rosters, the Cavs need to start looking for proven winners.
The lineup is loaded with potential, including bona fide superstar Kyrie Irving, up-and-comer Dion Waiters and a lottery pick in the upcoming 2013 draft. The Cavs have the makeup of a playoff team in the Eastern Conference right now; they just need the right head coach to guide them.
One option is Phil Jackson, the 11-time champion that the organization has reportedly (h/t ESPN) reached out to about its coaching vacancy.
However, with potential competition from the Brooklyn Nets and the Sacramento Kings (pending relocation), the cost for the Zen Master could be quite high. Instead of buckling under his contractual demands, Gilbert needs to realize that going back to the same coach that couldn’t win it with LeBron isn’t the answer and pay the proven winner.
It's certainly not as if Brown found success after leaving Cleveland, as the coach joined the Los Angeles Lakers, led them to a middling 41-25 record during the lockout shortened 2011-12 campaign and early exit to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the postseason.
Who will coach the Cavs next season?
Before the Cavaliers make a monumental error and rehire Brown to a job he wasn’t right for in the first place, Gilbert needs to think about the past and if he truly wants his franchise to contend in the future.
If he’s serious about winning and making a championship run, he’ll work to hire Jackson (or another experienced winner) to put at the helm of this up-and-coming club.