Cavs’ Koby Altman: Donovan Mitchell Contract Did Not Play Role In JB Bickerstaff Dismissal

Cavaliers president of basketball operations Koby Altman addressed the media on Friday and put an end to some rumors.Donovan Mitchell, JB Bickerstaff, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA, Cavs

Namely, star guard Donovan Mitchell and his looming contract situation did not play a role in the team’s decision to part ways with coach J.B. Bickerstaff.

When asked if Mitchell’s contract had anything to do with firing Bickerstaff, Altman simply answered, “No,” and left it at that.

Mitchell is eligible to sign a four-year, maximum extension with the Cavaliers this offseason. If he doesn’t, he will become a free agent at the end of 2024-25.

Multiple reports suggest that the Cavs are optimistic Mitchell will sign the extension and remain in Cleveland.

It’s also been reported that Mitchell “did not have great confidence” in Bickerstaff.

“Though Cleveland improved under Bickerstaff, his teams scuffled after the All-Star break in each of the last three seasons,” wrote Shams Charania, Joe Vardon and Jason Lloyd for The Athletic. “Also, and perhaps most importantly, Cavs star Donovan Mitchell, among other players, did not have great confidence in Bickerstaff as the coach for the future, numerous league sources have said for most of the season.”

The Cavaliers are seeking a new head coach after firing Bickerstaff following five-and-a-half seasons on the job. Altman has been GM/president of basketball operations since July 2017.

As for the search, Altman did not reveal the names of any candidates, though he said he does have a list and implied it’s different than what is being reported.

The Cavs finished 48-34 this past season and lost to the Boston Celtics in the second round of the playoffs. They beat the Orlando Magic in seven games in the first.

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