Morway says Cavs' plans for prez led to change

Updated: June 1, 2005, 11:15 AM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Indiana Pacers vice president David Morway is no longer a candidate to become Cleveland's general manager, another sign that Detroit coach Larry Brown could be joining the Cavaliers.

Morway was considered the front-runner to replace the fired Jim Paxson before the Cavs began courting Brown, has told two league sources that he plans to take the Cavaliers' offer to become their next team president. According to the sources, who spoke to on Monday evening, Brown said he would accept the position after the Pistons' season is over.

Morway had given the Cavaliers a Monday deadline to let him know if he was still in their plans.

"They indicated to me that they were exploring the possibility of hiring a high-profile president, so we came to a mutual understanding and agreement that this wasn't the right situation for me," Morway said Tuesday. "They wanted to go in another direction and I respect that."

Morway said he didn't discuss Brown's situation with Cavaliers ownership.

The 44-year-old Morway had the Pacers' blessing while the Cavaliers considered him. From the outset, he made it clear to Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert that he was only interested in the job if he had full control of the basketball decisions and reported directly to the owner.

When the Cavs indicated they were changing the structure of their front office to include a president, Morway was no longer interested.

"I have a great job with the Pacers working with Donnie Walsh and Larry Bird," Morway said. "It would have had to be a very special job to leave. I appreciate the Cavaliers for giving me the opportunity and wish them good luck."

On Monday, Pacers assistant coach Mike Brown accepted Cleveland's coaching position. Brown, 35, would become the league's second youngest coach.

ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher reported that Brown and the Cavaliers agreed in principle to a four-year deal worth approximately $9 million.

While the Pistons defend their NBA title, Larry Brown has had discussions with Gilbert's representatives. However, the 64-year-old coach has insisted that he wants to address a health problem after the season is over before deciding his next career move.

With Morway no longer in the mix, Washington Wizards director of player personnel Milt Newton appears to be the leading candidate to be Cleveland's new GM. Newton played on Brown's NCAA championship team at Kansas in 1988.

Gilbert has tried to keep Cleveland's front office and coaching searches a secret, but word has leaked throughout the process.

On Sunday night, he responded to an e-mail sent by the AP asking if he had hired a new coach.

"We will know more this week," he said.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press