Cavs Could Make This Massive Change After Playoff Exit

JB Bickerstaff, NBA Rumors, Cleveland Cavaliers
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Despite leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to consecutive NBA playoff appearances and securing their first playoff series victory without LeBron James since 1993, J.B. Bickerstaff’s tenure as head coach may be in doubt.

According to Shams Charania, Joe Vardon, and Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, Bickerstaff’s position is “in serious jeopardy” after the Boston Celtics eliminated the Cavaliers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The team is expected to deliberate on Bickerstaff’s future over the coming days, suggesting that no decision will be made immediately following the season’s conclusion. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the Cavaliers’ management is poised for extensive discussions on the team’s direction during the offseason.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: JB Bickerstaff, Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers Updates

The potential for Bickerstaff’s departure does not solely hinge on the playoff loss, especially considering key injuries. The Cavaliers were without Donovan Mitchell, who missed the last two games with a strained left calf, and Jarrett Allen, who has been sidelined since Game 4 of the first round due to a bruised rib.

Injuries significantly impacted the Cavaliers throughout the 2023-24 season, with Mitchell, Darius Garland, and Evan Mobley missing a combined total of 84 games. Despite these challenges, Cleveland still managed a fourth-place finish in the Eastern Conference with a record of 48-34.

Looking ahead, a primary concern for the franchise is the future of star player Donovan Mitchell, who has two years left on his contract, the latter being a player option. Mitchell has been non-committal publicly about his intentions regarding a contract extension.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: JB Bickerstaff, Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers Updates

Cavaliers governor Dan Gilbert expressed optimism about retaining Mitchell, telling Larry Lage of the Associated Press, “We think he will extend. I think if you listen to him talk, he loves the city. He loves the situation in Cleveland because our players are very young and we’re just kind of putting the core together that he’s clearly the biggest part of.”

Mitchell is eligibility for a four-year, $208 million extension on July 6. The Cavaliers face significant decisions regarding Mitchell’s contract situation and the future of Bickerstaff, whose coaching contract runs through the 2026-27 season.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: JB Bickerstaff, Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers Updates

Bickerstaff’s tenure has been notable, ranking him fifth in both games coached and wins in Cavaliers history, marking him as one of the franchise’s most successful coaches.

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