Outside of Steve Kerr, Kevin Ollie has been the hottest coaching candidate that has no NBA coaching experience, thanks to his brilliant display of coaching as he led the UCONN Huskies to a National Championship. And based on all information known, Ollie isn’t ready to jettison to the NBA at the first offer. Case and point: he turned down a Cleveland Cavaliers offer according to the New York Daily News:
According to team sources, the Cavs were rejected by UConn’s Kevin Ollie, who was seen as the perfect coach who could get Irving to re-sign long-term in Cleveland, while also having the ability to recruit former teammate LeBron James to return home this summer. The second part was a total pipe dream.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are in an awkward situation, similar to something they went through with Lebron James. According to the previous graph, the Cavs are attempting to appease Kyrie Irving in the same way they attempted to appease Lebron James, but there is a huge difference. Lebron James was an unrestricted free agent with the ability to go anywhere without the Cavaliers having a say-so. Kyrie Irving on the other hand is a restricted free agent meaning if a team offers Irving a contract the Cavaliers have a chance to match it. And considering how many players turn down max contracts offered after the rookie deal, it’s unlikely that Irving isn’t a Cavalier for the next four or five years.
Seeing that Ollie turned down the job, it’s hard to get a grasp on his true intentions. Were the Cavaliers not the right situation for him as he’d be better off staying with UCONN? Was the contract money not high enough? Is he holding out for a high-profile job like New York or Los Angeles?
Regardless, the odds of him being a NBA coach this season seem low unless he’s waiting for the perfect offer. But one thing is for sure: the Cavaliers isn’t the job for him.