James Borrego Said To Have Edge, But Cavs Still Fairly Early In Coaching Search

We’ve heard it before and get ready to listen to it again — New Orleans Pelicans assistant James Borrego is in the lead in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ coaching search.James Borrego, New Orleans Pelicans, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA

We think.

For starters, that is what Hoops Wire sources have said, when they revealed last week that the front office was “very impressed” with Borrego during his interview.

Other reports have suggested that Borrego is the frontrunner for the gig, with Hall of Famer Marc Stein of The Stein Line being the latest.

“More insiders than not consulted these days, meanwhile, give Borrego an edge in the race to replace the ousted J.B. Bickerstaff with the Cavaliers,” Stein wrote.

That said, sources have told Hoops Wire that president of basketball operations Koby Altman and his staff are still fairly early in the process. Things could still change.

There is also some belief around the NBA that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert may be conducting his own search, separate from the front office, with names we have yet to hear. Gilbert did that frequently back when David Griffin was GM and may be doing so again. 

(Interestingly, Griffin is head of basketball operations with the Pelicans, Borrego’s current team.)

Anyway, there’s no question the Cavs like Borrego, with Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson and Minnesota Timberwolves assistant Micah Nori, an Ohio native, also in the running.

Sources have told Hoops Wire, though, that Atkinson may be sliding out of the list of possibilities — though offered no concrete reasons, only theories.

Prior to joining coach Willie Green and the Pelicans, Borrego coached the Charlotte 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.

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