The Cleveland Cavaliers are amid a pivotal period ahead of the 2024-25 season. The Cavs are searching for their next head coach after parting ways with JB Bickerstaff. Moreover, rumors have surfaced that Cleveland could trade star guard Darius Garland. However, Cavs GM Koby Altman allegedly cleared rumors in a conversation with a renowned NBA analyst.

James Borrego is one of the candidates to fill the Cavs’ head coaching vacancy. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reportedly provided insight on Borrego, saying he can be an effective coach with a lineup of multi-talented guards. The guards Borrego could use on the Cavs would be Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland, the latter of which is believed to be a trade target for other teams.

Rumors suggest that Cavs GM Koby Altman is telling Cleveland coaching candidates they are not interested in trading Garland, per Windhorst. Keeping Garland alongside Mitchell could entice James Borrego. Of course, Borrego’s abilities are subject to examination.

Borrego served as a head coach for the Charlotte Hornets from 2018 to 2022 before the team dismissed him. Windhorst acknowledged that the former Hornets coach’s defensive strategies can be questionable, but there is no doubt about his offense. Borrego could be the coach that gets the best out of the Mitchell-Garland duo.

Still, Borrego faces tough competition for the job. Kenny Atkinson is another candidate who has piqued the Cavs’ interest.

Atkinson serves as an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors. One of his most notable experiences is his head coaching tenure with the Brooklyn Nets from 2016 to 2020. Atkinson was instrumental in transforming the Nets from a poor-performing team to a respectable playoff squad. Atkinson’s knack for player development could serve Cleveland well.

As the Cavs reach for the next coach, the players want to continue growing.

Can Cavs’ Darius Garland get back to All-Star level amid trade rumors?

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) shoots for three points against Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland (10)

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Darius Garland joined the Cavs in 2019 when the team selected him with their fifth overall draft pick. The Vanderbilt Commodores product entered the league highly touted, known for his shifty handles and scoring ability. Garland built a sound foundation with the Cavs during his rookie year.

Garland averaged 12.3 points and 3.9 assists during the 2019-2020 season, which set him up for improvement in his second year. The 6’1″ guard amassed averages of 17.4 points, 6.1 assists, and 1.7 steals in 2020-21. Then, Garland made his most impressive leap. He garnered a career-high 21.7 points, 8.6 assists, and 1.3 steals in 2021-22, earning his first All-Star appearance.

Garland continued his stout production the following year but took somewhat of a step back in 2023-24. The star guard averaged 18.0 points, 6.5 assists, and 1.3 steals in 57 games. Furthermore, Garland did not perform up to the standard some fans expected him to in the playoffs. He struggled to score over 20 points per game during all of the Cavs’ postseason matchups.

It seems Cavs GM Koby Altman is not in a hurry to trade Darius Garland. This gives him time to bounce back ahead of the 2024-25 season and form more chemistry with his teammates. If he can return to All-Star form, he will make the Cavs even scarier than they already are.