Home News Warriors assistant to interview for Cavaliers job: Report

Warriors assistant to interview for Cavaliers job: Report


According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Warriors granted the Cleveland Cavaliers permission to interview assistant coach Kenny Atkinson.

Atkinson, 56, appears to be one of the hot names on this summer’s coaching carousel. Though JJ Redick now appears to be the frontrunner, Atkinson is reportedly in the mix for the Lakers’ head coach vacancy.

The Cavaliers seem like a natural landing spot for Atkinson. He coached both Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert when he was in Brooklyn, so there would be some level of familiarity.

Per Wojnarowski, the Cavaliers are also interviewing Pelicans assistant James Borrego, who has a similar background as Atkinson as a former top assistant with head coaching experience.

Atkinson has spent the past three years working with the Warriors on Steve Kerr’s staff. Before that, he served as Ty Lue’s assistant for a year after four seasons as head coach of the Nets. In Brooklyn, Atkinson went 118-190 with one playoff appearance.

Cleveland fired J.B. Bickerstaff after its second round exit from the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Both Allen, LeVert and Donovan Mitchell missed time during the Cavs’ season-ending series against Boston.

Under Bickerstaff, the Cavaliers finished the season 48-34 and as the four-seed, but their lineups never seemed completely settled. The front court pairing of Allen and Evan Mobley didn’t quite mesh together, and the back court of Mitchell and Darius Garland had similar issues. The team was at its best in the regular season when Mitchell and Allen were healthy and running high pick and rolls with floor spacers around them.

In addition to finding a head coach, the Cavaliers will have to address Mitchell’s free agency as well as how their main pieces fit long-term.

Atkinson’s name has bubbled for other jobs before. He took the Charlotte Hornets head coaching position before backing out after the Warriors won the 2022 Finals and was also reportedly in play to replace Adrian Griffin with the Bucks midseason.

At the moment, the Cavs and Lakers are the only teams with head coaching vacancies. The Suns hires Mike Budenholzer, Washington tapped former interim coach Brian Keefe, Charlotte hired former Boston assistant Charles Lee, and the Nets poached Jodi Fernandez from Sacramento.

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