Cavs Rumors: John Beilein to Meet with Dan Gilbert amid Reports of Exit

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2020

CLEVELAND, OHIO - JANUARY 30: Head coach John Beilein of the Cleveland Cavaliers yells to his players during the first half against the Toronto Raptors at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on January 30, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach John Beilein will speak with team owner Dan Gilbert on Monday after rumors surfaced regarding his future with the squad, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

Charania, Kelsey Russo and Jason Lloyd reported Sunday for The Athletic that Beilein was unlikely to remain in his job through the end of the 2019-20 NBA season.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst, he could step down before the conclusion of the All-Star break and "was expected to reach a decision in the next 24-48 hours."

Though unproven in the NBA, Beilein's hiring made sense at the time. The veteran coach could help build a culture with a franchise in transition and set the table for his eventual successor.

However, it's becoming increasingly clear he and the Cavs would benefit from a separation.

Cleveland has the worst record in the Eastern Conference (14-40), and the team is seeing little development from Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. Beilein did a great job of getting the most out of his players at Michigan, but that isn't happening for the Cavs.

Wojnarowski and Windhorst wrote the 67-year-old is struggling with the adjustment to the NBA as well: "Friends and associates of Beilein have described him as unhappy -- even miserable -- with the move to the Cavaliers. The losing that comes with a rebuild, as well as several skirmishes in public and private with players, has played a part in the rapid deterioration, sources said."

Most memorably, Beilein personally apologized to the roster after mistakenly saying the team was playing "like a bunch of thugs" instead of "slugs" during a film session.

The sooner he leaves Cleveland, the quicker Beilein can contemplate his next step—almost certainly a return to the college ranks.

The Cavaliers, meanwhile, could move on with a coach who might be a better fit. The Athletic report listed associate head coach J.B. Bickerstaff as the likeliest replacement at this stage.

Gilbert gave Beilein a five-year deal, so his departure would be an acknowledgment the Cavs made a huge mistake. That's still a preferable outcome than persisting with what looks like a poor partnership.

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