Kenny Atkinson, James Borrego Considered Early Favorites For Cavs Job

The Cavaliers may not have yet completed all the interviews for their coaching vacancy, but it appears they may have a couple of favorites.Kenny Atkinson, Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA

Per Brian Windhorst of ESPN, Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson and New Orleans Pelicans assistant James Borrego are already leading the rest of the field.

The Cavs were just recently granted interviews with Atkinson and Borrego, along with several others. The list also reportedly includes Miami Heat assistant Chris Quinn, New York Knicks assistant Johnnie Bryant and Minnesota Timberwolves assistant Micah Nori, an Ohio native.

Windhorst added that the Cavs would like to hire a coach before approaching star guard Donovan Mitchell with an offer of a maximum contract extension — an offer that is undoubtedly on the way, likely in July.

Also, league sources told Hoops Wire that the Cavaliers would like to hire a coach before the 2024 NBA Draft at the end of the month. Cleveland owns the No. 20 overall pick.

As for Atkinson and Borrego, there’s no questioning their credentials. Both have been head coaches.

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.

The Cavaliers are looking to replace J.B. Bickerstaff, fired after five-and-a-half seasons.

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