The Cleveland Cavaliers have been in a state of flux since moving on from John Beilein as the team’s head coach back on Feb. 19. In his place, J.B. Bickerstaff has taken over the reins as interim coach, and by the sound of it, he plans for the Cavs’ head coaching gig to be his for the foreseeable future.
“This wasn’t an interim thing,” Bickerstaff said via Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. “This was a conversation that [general manager] Koby Altman and I had. And he said, ‘You’re the head coach moving forward.’ So, the plan is I will be back next season with a long-term deal.”
Bickerstaff has twice previously before been named interim coach during his career, first with the Houston Rockets in 2015-16 and again with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2017-18. During his stop with the Rockets, he was able to lead the team to the postseason, attempting to still do the same with the Cavs, a proposition that is appearing more unlikely each passing day.
Bickerstaff joined Cleveland’s coaching staff this season after having been the head coach with the Grizzlies last year. As Memphis went in a different direction, the Cavs scooped up the 40-year-old, whose father, Bernie, works in the team’s front office as a senior basketball advisor.
The Cavs face a crucial summer, in which they will need to once again determine the immediate future of their franchise. The 2019-20 year has been branded a year for development, but for Bickerstaff, it will also become a proving ground.