Sonics agree to Cavs’ request
Seattle will stop using Malone as consultant
By Brian Windhorst
Becon Journal sportswriter
CLEVELAND - Dan Gilbert's generosity only goes so far.
Cavaliers team lawyers contacted the Seattle SuperSonics this week to ask them to stop using former Cavs interim coach Brendan Malone as a consultant and the Sonics have complied. Malone, whose son, Michael, is currently an assistant under Cavs coach Mike Brown, is still under contract and being paid by the Cavs.
Before the season, the Cavs agreed to allow the veteran Malone to be a sounding board for new Sonics coach Bob Weiss, who didn't have room on his coaching staff for Malone. But after evaluating the way he was being used, the Cavs' attorneys believed Seattle was in violation of the agreement.
Malone sat behind the bench for all Sonics games and was involved in huddles during timeouts, very similar to the role of an assistant coach. It also upset some of the Cavs brass when they saw a segment of NBA TV's total access training camp coverage and saw Malone running parts of a Sonics practice.
Most coaches and high-ranking executives in the NBA have “offset clauses'' in their contracts. In the event a fired coach or executive joins a new team, their former team would have to cover the difference in salary for the length of the original contract.
The issue was the Sonics were only paying Malone a fraction of an assistant's salary with the Cavs covering the two-year contract they signed Malone to before last season. In essence, the Cavs thought they were paying for Malone to be an assistant coach for the Sonics.
Gilbert hasn't blinked at honoring contracts, but it seems he wants that to go both ways.
It is possible the Cavs' lawyers are using Malone to send a message to teams who might want to hire the cluster of coaches and executives they've recently fired. The team is paying former general manager Jim Paxson and former coach Paul Silas a total of $10 million for this season and next and both men will likely emerge as candidates for jobs within that time period.
Larry Hughes was off his game in Thursday's 98-76 loss at Indiana, scoring just 13 points with only one rebound and one assist. Now, there's an explanation. Hughes was fighting flu-like symptoms Thursday and Friday and did not practice. His status is day-to-day and he'll be re-evaluated before the Cavs play host to the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight.
Donyell Marshall has struggled recently shooting from 3-point range, going just 6-of-22 in the past four games.... In their three losses, Cavs opponents are shooting 32-of-63 (51 percent) from 3-point range and just 38 percent in their nine victories.... The Cavs will debut their new navy alternate uniforms tonight.