Report: Cavaliers Could Be Interested In Johnnie Bryant, Alex Jensen, Sam Cassell As New Coach

According to NBA insider Evan Dammarell of Right Down Euclid, the Cleveland Cavaliers could be interested in Johnnie Bryant, Alex Jensen and Sam Cassell.

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Cavaliers could fire JB Bickerstaff. 

“Sources have told Right Down Euclid that New York Knicks assistant Johnnie Bryant, Dallas Mavericks assistant Alex Jensen and Boston Celtics assistant Sam Cassell could be on the short list of candidates,” Dammarell wrote. “Both Bryant and Jensen have experience with Donovan Mitchell from their time together in Utah, with Bryant serving as Mitchell’s personal growth and development coach.

“Cassell, meanwhile, has served in various roles on NBA sidelines for the last fifteen years and has a reputation for building strong relationships with players, including Mitchell’s two close friends in Boston forwards Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.”

According to NBA insiders Shams Charania, Joe Vardon and Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, Mitchell — this season — didn’t have great confidence in Bickerstaff, whose job is in serious jeopardy.

The Cavaliers lost to the Celtics in the second round of the 2024 playoffs in five games. Mitchell missed Games 4 and 5 with a left calf injury. 

“League sources briefed on the Cavaliers’ mindset told The Athletic that Bickerstaff’s job is in serious jeopardy after five and a half years as head coach, following the team’s season-ending loss in Game 5 of the second round to the Celtics,” Charania, Vardon and Lloyd wrote. “Two league sources said the team is likely to take some time — multiple days — to make a decision. … Multiple league sources have said, for months, that Mitchell did not have great confidence in Bickerstaff, and he was not alone.

“Several players questioned Bickerstaff’s strategies, game management, practice habits and accountability measures, privately and publicly, throughout the season.”

The Cavaliers almost fired Bickerstaff during the regular season, sources told Hoops Wire. Bickerstaff is 170-159 in the regular season and 6-11 in the playoffs with Cleveland. 

Cavaliers president Koby Altman admonished Bickerstaff in front of his entire staff for playing Mitchell heavy minutes against the Houston Rockets on December 18. 

Mitchell can sign an extension for up to four years and around $200 million this offseason. He has a player option worth $37 million for the 2025-26 season.

One of the top scorers in the NBA, Mitchell can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2025 if he declines that player option. 

Looking for the latest NBA Insider News & Rumors?

Be sure to follow Hoops Wire on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NBA News and Rumors for all 30 teams!

Leave a Reply