Mike Brown finalizing five-year contract to return as Cavaliers coach

Adrian Wojnarowski

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Mike Brown are finalizing a five-year, $20 million-plus contract for him to return as coach, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Brown was still ironing out details about his control within basketball operations, but a formal announcement will come as soon as Wednesday.

The fifth year of Brown's deal will include a buyout provision, a source said.

After five seasons with the Cavaliers, Brown was fired prior to LeBron James' free agency in the summer of 2010. The Cavaliers are determined to try to lure James back if he opts out of his contract with the Miami Heat in the summer of 2014. James and Brown had an up-and-down relationship, and many within the league don't believe that Brown's return would be especially enticing to James.

Nevertheless, Cleveland wants to shore up what was the worst defense in the league under previous coach Byron Scott, who was let go last week. Cavaliers officials understand Brown can do that for them.

[Also: Bobcats fire coach Mike Dunlap after one season]

Despite his firing in 2010, Brown still kept a close relationship with Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant. Former Cavs GM Danny Ferry and Grant, then an assistant GM, had lobbied owner Dan Gilbert to keep Brown as coach.

Brown went 272-138 in five seasons in Cleveland and guided the Cavs to the 2007 NBA Finals. After taking a year off, he was hired as the Los Angeles Lakers coach in the summer of 2011. The Lakers fired Brown five games into this season.

It is immediately unclear if the Lakers, who owed Brown $8 million on his contract buyout, will still have to pay Brown once his agreement with the Cavaliers is complete.

The Akron Beacon-Journal first reported a deal between Brown and the Cavs was imminent.

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