Cavs Expected To Hire Coach Before Presenting Extension To Donovan Mitchell

Like most NBA teams, the Cavaliers are facing some major decisions this offseason, and it sounds as if they’ll start by hiring a coach.NBA, Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers

Probably a good idea.

In fact, they very well could do that before presenting their maximum contract extension offer to star guard Donovan Mitchell, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, via the Hoop Collective podcast.

That offer is likely to come in early July. The Cavs also have a pick to make in the 2024 NBA Draft (No. 20 overall) on June 26.

League sources tell Hoops Wire they are hoping to hire a coach before that date, too.

While hiring a coach theoretically will be the Cavaliers’ first move, signing Mitchell to the four-year, $208 million extension is undoubtedly the most important. Mitchell supposedly wants nothing to do with a coaching hire, though you can be sure the Cavs will keep him in mind when making their pick.

As of now, Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson and New Orleans Pelicans assistant James Borrego are believed to be the frontrunners. But that seems to be more speculation than fact.

For starters, it’s not yet known how either reported candidate feels about the Cavs vacancy. They both are expected to interview, however. The Cavaliers have also received permission to interview Miami Heat assistant Chris Quinn and New York Knicks assistant Johnnie Bryant, said to be a Mitchell favorite.

Atkinson, 56, coached the Nets from 2016-20 and went 118-170 in the regular season and 1-4 in the playoffs. He was fired just days before the season shut down as a result of the COVID pandemic in March 2020.

He then spent 2020-21 as an assistant with Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers, before joining Steve Kerr and the Warriors as an assistant a year later.

Borrego, 46, is currently an assistant under Willie Green with the Pelicans. Before that, he served as head coach of the Charlotte Hornets, compiling a 138-163 record from 2018-22. The Hornets improved by 10 wins in each of Borrego’s final three seasons.

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