Report: Cavs expecting plenty of competition for J.B. Bickerstaff
The Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to beef up their coaching staff after finally finding their lead man in former University of Michigan coach John Beilein. Beilein, who spent 12 seasons with Michigan, reportedly wants former Memphis Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff as his associate head coach. The Cavs, however, are aware that acquiring Bickerstaff’s services won’t be easy as many other teams are reportedly eyeing him for their respective lead assistant coaching roles as well:
#Cavs understand that there will be lots of competition for J.B. Bickerstaff as lead assistant, league sources tell @clevelanddotcom. Many teams want him. But he's a guy they covet for John Beilein's staff and it wouldn't be as tricky as trying to pry away a guy under contract
— Chris Fedor (@ChrisFedor) May 13, 2019
Beilein and Bickerstaff are reportedly expected to meet to discuss the role. The first-time NBA coach reportedly wants the 44-year-old Bickerstaff on his side for his experience and great rapport with players.
Bickerstaff was fired in April after the Grizzlies opted to shake things up. He spent two seasons as head coach of Memphis and finished with a record of 48-97 over that span. He was also an interim coach for the Houston Rockets in 2015-16, going 37-34 before losing in five games in the first round of the playoffs.
Bickerstaff became interim coach after Memphis fired David Fizdale early in the 2017-18 season. In 2018-19, he became the Grizzlies’ full-time head coach.
Despite going through a transitional period from the Grit-and-Grind era after dealing away longtime big man Marc Gasol midseason and being shackled with injuries all year long, Bickerstaff still led the Grizzlies to a 33-49 season.
Nevertheless, his firing has opened the door for his next gig as a lead assistant, a role he already knows all too well.
Beilein is hoping this next gig is with the Cavs, who are looking to reinvigorate their franchise after an abysmal first season in the post-LeBron era.