Kenny Atkinson Frontrunner For Cavs’ Coaching Job; Johnnie Bryant In Mix

Former Brooklyn Nets coach and current Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson is the “leader” for the Cavaliers’ coaching vacancy, per Jason Lloyd of the Athletic.Kenny Atkinson, NBA, Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers

New York Knicks assistant Johnnie Bryant is also considered a strong candidate, Lloyd added. Bryant was an assistant coach with the Utah Jazz when Cavs star Donovan Mitchell was there.

Mitchell is said to be a fan of both Bryant and Dallas Mavericks assistant Alex Jensen, another former Jazz assistant under now-Atlanta Hawks coach Quin Snyder.

As an aside, one source told Hoops Wire if Snyder were available, the Cavs would’ve hired him already. Snyder is Mitchell’s favorite, and the Cavs intend to do everything in their power for Mitchell to agree to a contract extension this summer. Still, Snyder isn’t going anywhere but Atlanta and the Cavs are hoping Mitchell doesn’t go anywhere but Cleveland, either.

Meanwhile, Atkinson 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.

He then spent 2020-21 as an assistant with the Clippers, before joining Steve Kerr and the Warriors as an assistant a year later.

The Cavs are also said to be considering ex-Charlotte Hornets coach and current New Orleans Pelicans assistant James Borrego and several others. That said, Cavs president of basketball operations Koby Altman said his list is a bit different than what’s being reported in the media.

Lloyd added that Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is “heavily involved” in the coaching search. Gilbert is believed to be active again with the Cavs after several years away to focus on his health and primary business interests.

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