Sources: Cavs Impressed In Talks With Coaching Candidate James Borrego

It’s still relatively early, but it appears the Cavaliers have at least one coaching candidate they like in James Borrego.James Borrego, Cleveland Cavaliers, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA

League sources told Hoops Wire that the Cavs have been very impressed in their talks with the former Charlotte Hornets coach, who was interviewed by Cleveland on Tuesday. Borrego and Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson are visiting head of basketball operations Koby Altman and the Cavs this week. Several others are expected to interview as well.

That said, the names we’ve been hearing in the media may not exactly match Altman’s list. Or the list of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert. So there soon could be names emerging that we have yet to hear associated with the search.

The Cavs are one of two teams with a vacancy, joining the high-profile Los Angeles Lakers. Borrego is currently an assistant under Willie Green with the New Orleans Pelicans and sources said he has interviewed with the Lakers at least once. They are believed to be particularly high on him.

But the Lakers’ recent flirtations with UConn coach Dan Hurley — a surprise to many — may have been off-putting for some of the other candidates, including Borrego. Hurley ultimately turned down the gig.

That’s not the Cavs’ loss, but if they decide Borrego is their main, it could be their gain.

Borrego, 46, coached the Hornets for four seasons, finishing 148-183 with a fairly undermanned roster. Still, the Hornets increased their win total by 10 in each of his final three seasons, from 23 in 2019-20 to 33 to 43.

The Cavs seemingly want to have a coach in place before the June 26 NBA Draft (they have the No. 20 overall pick) — and most definitely want to have hired somebody by the time star guard Donovan Mitchell can sign a contract extension in early July.

Along with Atkinson and Borrego, the Cavaliers have been linked to Terry Stotts, David Adelman, Chris Quinn, Johnnie Bryant, Micah Nori, Dave Joerger, Alex Jensen and Steve Hetzel. Of that group, only Borrego, Atkinson (Brooklyn) and Stotts (Portland, Atlanta, Milwaukee) have NBA head-coaching experience.

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