All it takes to become one of the highest-paid coaches in the league after six months on the job is to win your team its first title in franchise history.
The Cavaliers promoted Tyronn Lue to head coach in January, but never actually got together to sign a long-term contract until today, with both parties agreeing to a five-year, $35 million contract extension. The reward for leading Cleveland down the stretch of the regular season and playoff push, where he become the 2nd youngest title-winning coach in NBA history.
This signing, like most, has its ups and downs. On one hand, Lue has a lot of respect from his players. One of the most-cited reasons for David Blatt's departure was that he didn't have control of his players, and they simply didn't like playing for him. Lue, having been a player, resonates with the team. Guys love him. Watching the team embrace him at the end of game 7 was a genuinely emotional experience to see.
On the other hand, Lue took over one of the two most talented rosters in the NBA and struggled through the regular season. He fumbled with lineups; he had some rotation issues, and he probably played LeBron James too many minutes. Reporters acted like Lue had solved a long-held code when he inserted Channing Frye into the rotation in the playoffs, but it was the move that had been expected for several months, with results everybody had expected.
The real question will be whether or not he'll last all five years. The NBA head coach position is not a title that is known for its job security. As it stands, Lue will be making $7 million per year, while Dan Gilbert is still paying Mike Brown from his firing in the summer of 2014. The details of David Blatt's contract aren't readily available, but it's very likely that he's still receiving money from Gilbert as well.
The past two Cavalier coaches have been sent packing long before their contracts were up, so there's not a lot of reason to think that this one will last either. This is an ownership group that is notorious for trying to knock down a house of cards with a rocket launcher.
Lue's contract is guaranteed up until the summer that Kyrie Irving becomes a free agent. Lue is also hoping to have LeBron on his roster for a long time, which tends to help his long-term prospects, but expectations will remain high throughout the duration of his contract, however long that may be.