4 great coaches the Cavaliers could hire to replace Bickerstaff

J.B. Bickerstaff, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)
J.B. Bickerstaff, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) /
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The Cleveland Cavaliers just clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2018, and for the first time without LeBron James since 1998. They will likely not only make the playoffs but clear 50 wins and have home-court advantage in the first round.

A lot of the credit for that success goes to the players, from home-grown talents like Evan Mobley and Darius Garland to trade acquisitions like Donovan Mitchell and Jarrett Allen. Even so, plenty of the credit should go to head coach J.B. Bickerstaff and the work he has done molding this group into a winning team.

The Cleveland Cavaliers could decide to replace Bickerstaff as coach

Yet there continue to be a lot who doubt Bickerstaff as a high-end coach. They point to an ever-changing rotation, too many minutes for the core players, late-game failures and other cracks in the facade. In his only playoff experience as a head coach, he went 1-4 with the Houston Rockets in 2015-16.

We detailed last week why the Cavaliers are a candidate to replace their coach despite making the playoffs, following the example the Golden State Warriors and others set: often the coach to take you from bad to good is replaced to take a team from good to champion.

This piece is not advocating for Bickerstaff’s replacement, but rather looking at the coaching landscape if the Cavaliers move on. Who could be on the market to fill that role and try to elevate the Cavs to true contention? Let’s look at four candidates who could replace Bickerstaff.