Top 3 Assistant Coaches who could replace J.B. Bickerstaff for Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers are facing major decisions for the coaching staff and roster and may soon look to replace J.B. Bickerstaff after four-and-a-half seasons.
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Coaching Candidate No. 3 - Micah Nori, Minnesota Timberwolves

Micah Nori of the Minnesota Timberwolves has worked as an assistant coach since 2009, joining the Toronto Raptors until 2013 when he moved to the Sacramento Kings under a younger Michael Malone. He then worked with Dwyane Casey on the Nuggets and Detroit Pistons before moving to the Wolves three seasons ago.

Another highly-experienced, successful asssistant coach has entered the conversation to step into a head coaching position some day soon. The Ohio native recently entered the spotlight when he partially assumed the responsibilities of head coach Chris Finch after he suffered a ruptured patellar tendon from a late-game collision on the sidelines during the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

With Finch unable to stand and manage the team constantly during the game, Nori has roamed the sidelines and made in-game adjustments as the Timberwolves are amid a tightly-contested battle with the reigning champion Denver Nuggets. Showing the capability to manage a major role shift in the middle of the postseason with little trouble should catch Cleveland's attention immediately. One of Bickerstaff's worst flaws is his stubborn in-game adjustments, or lack thereof, that have led to late-game collapses with the Cavs.

If Nori can join the Cavaliers and immediately improve their in-game adjustments and rotations, he would quickly earn the respect of the players and the front office. As with every assistant coach, his inexperience could hinder his success at the start. However, a fresh mind with success coaching a young budding contender with a starring guard and two big men in the starting five makes Nori's transition to coaching the Cavs much smoother than other candidates may experience.

Additionally, Nori's welcoming and personable reputation matches everything the Cavaliers need. For all of Bickerstaff's flaws, he has never struggled to relate to his players and inspire them to offer their best. With the nickname of the "Ted Lasso of the NBA", there is no doubt that Nori would establish a family culture on the Cavaliers with a focus on winning at the highest level.

Still, the Cleveland Cavaliers have not removed Bickerstaff from his position, nor has Bickerstaff stepped away himself. The rumors of Bickerstaff's imminent unemployment maybe heavily overblown. In a new piece by Terry Pluto for, a "top NBA source" told Pluto that Bickerstaff has built "a lot of equity with the Cavs" and that the team will not be hasty in their moves. If the Cavaliers are still fond of Bickerstaff, he may not be on the move anytime soon.

He also still has a guaranteed contract until 2026. Even if the Cavs move on from Bickerstaff now, he will still be owed his salary until the end of his contract or the start of his next. Unless Cleveland believes their future potential is severely hampered by Bickerstaff, the front office cannot dismiss the longtime coach after three years of steady progression with a frustratingly redundant roster composition. Once again, injuries and an indecisive front office may be the cause of the Cavaliers' elimination more than the coaching staff.

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