NBA Exec Urges Cavaliers To Hire Johnnie Bryant To ‘Appease’ Donovan Mitchell

An NBA executive told Hoops Wire that the Cleveland Cavaliers should hire Johnnie Bryant as their next head coach to “appease” Donovan Mitchell

NBA, Cavs, Cavaliers, Johnnie Bryant, Donovan Mitchell
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Bryant worked closely with Mitchell on the Utah Jazz. The two have a very close relationship. 

“The Cavs fired JB (Bickerstaff) because Donovan didn’t like playing for him,” the NBA exec said. “This coaching search shouldn’t be that difficult for Cleveland. Everything should be about keeping Donovan happy. They should hire Johnnie to appease him. Those two are really close. Johnnie knows what Donovan likes and doesn’t like on both sides (of the court).”

In their coaching search, the Cavaliers have been linked to Bryant, Terry Stotts, David Adelman, Kenny Atkinson, Chris Quinn, James Borrego, Micah Nori, Dave Joerger, Alex Jensen and Steve Hetzel.

Mitchell can sign a four-year, $208 million extension this offseason. He is under contract for next season and has a $37 million player option for 2025-26.

If Mitchell becomes a free agent in 2025, he is eligible to sign for a max of five years and $269.9 million with the team that holds his Bird rights (the Cavaliers now) or four years, $200.1 million with a new team.

If Mitchell doesn’t sign an extension with the Cavaliers this offseason, the thought is that Cleveland will look to trade him before free agency in the offseason of 2025.

Sources told Hoops Wire that the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets, New Orleans Pelicans and Philadelphia 76ers would try to acquire Mitchell if the All-Star didn’t extend with the Cavaliers. 

Mitchell averaged 26.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 6.1 assists this season while shooting 46.2% from the field, 36.8% from beyond the arc and 86.5% from the free-throw line.

The Cavaliers beat the Orlando Magic in the first round of the playoffs in seven games but lost to the Boston Celtics in the second round in five games. 

According to NBA reporter Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, Mitchell was aggravated by some of JB Bickerstaff’s tactics and strategies.

“Yes, Donovan Mitchell was one of those aggravated by some of Bickerstaff’s tactics and strategies,” Lloyd wrote. “He wasn’t alone, but a locker room follows its star. If Mitchell had Bickerstaff’s back, everyone else would fall in line. When he didn’t, the others fell into that line, too.”

Mitchell has career averages of 24.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists with the Jazz and Cavaliers. He scored a career-high 71 points last season against the Chicago Bulls.

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