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Lue, Cavs Agree to Extension
Monday, July 25
Lue has agreed to terms on an contract extension worth $35 million over five years, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.
Lue Negotiations Impacting Coaching Staff
Sunday, July 10
"With [Lue] and the Cavaliers having yet to reach an agreement on an extension, his coaching staff—with the exception of Larry Drew and Mike Longabardi—is currently working without contracts," reported Cleveland.com's Chris Haynes, citing league sources.
Lue Comments on Negotiations
Sunday, July 10
"That's something that I'm not concerned with," Lue stated on Saturday about his contract situation, per Haynes. "It'll eventually get done. I'll let them (his agent and the Cavs) handle that."
Friday, July 1
On Friday, sources told Haynes and Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com that the Cavaliers and Lue are beginning negotiations on a contract extension.
With talks just starting, it's unclear how Lue's new salary will shape up, but Haynes and Vardon speculated that he should make "far above" the $6 million per season salary that Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey received this offseason.
Cavaliers Didn't Hit Their Stride Until Lue Became Head Coach
The 39-year-old coach began the 2015-16 season as the Cavaliers' associate head coach under David Blatt before the team surprisingly fired Blatt on January 22.
At the time of the move, the Cavaliers were the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference with a 30-11 record. But due to low morale, according to the Associated Press' Tom Withers, Blatt was axed and Lue was promoted.
On the same day of Blatt's firing, Wojnarowski reported that Lue signed a three-year, $9.5 million deal with the team. But it was later revealed in a report by ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin that Lue never signed a head coaching contract with the team:
Lue was already the league's top-paid assistant coach when he was added to Blatt's staff in the summer of 2014 with a four-year deal worth a total of $6.5 million. The Cavs and Lue's representatives came to a verbal agreement on a renegotiated deal that would pay him $3 million prorated for 2015-16 and $3 million next season, with a team option for a third year at $3.5 million with a buyout, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported in January.
After taking over as Cleveland's leading man, Lue steered the Cavaliers to a 27-14 record to finish off the regular season. While it was a winning record, he had a worse winning percentage than Blatt.
It wasn't until the playoffs that the Cavaliers clicked, sweeping the Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks before taking down the Toronto Raptors in six games to punch their ticket to a second straight NBA Finals.
The Cavaliers made history against the 73-9 Golden State Warriors, becoming the first team in the NBA Finals to come back from a 3-1 series deficit and win.
While a championship will endear a coach to any fanbase and most players, getting the backing of one of the best players on the planet and Cleveland's son, LeBron James, is the key. According to Haynes and Vardon, James called Lue the "greatest coach in the world."
As long as James is happy with Lue, then the Cavaliers and their fans should be as well for the foreseeable future.
Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com.