Cavs Rumors: J.B. Bickerstaff Expected to Replace Head Coach John Beilein

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With Cleveland Cavaliers head coach John Beilein reportedly on the verge of resigning, a report indicates that the team’s associate head coach J.B. Bickerstaff is expected to be named to replace him.

Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported that the 67-year-old Beilein is expected to make his decision before the Cavaliers resume player later in the week. If that happens, it would speed up the team’s plans about the head coaching position.

“Cleveland hired associate head coach J.B. Bickerstaff with the expectation that he would eventually replace Beilein as part of a succession plan, but no one — not the organization nor Bickerstaff — imagined it would be inside one of season,” Wojnaroski and Windhorst wrote.

Bickerstaff originally interviewed for the Cavaliers head coaching position, but was hired as an assistant after Beilein got the job last May.

The 40-year-old Bickerstaff does have extensive experience as an assistant and also has previous NBA head coaching experience.

Bickerstaff served as head coach of the Houston Rockets during the 2015-16 season and in 71 games, led the Rockets to a 37-34 record after taking over for the dismissed Kevin McHale.

That resulted in a playoff berth, though the Rockets fell in five games in the first round of the playoffs.

During the 2017-18 season, Bickerstaff coached the Memphis Grizzlies for 63 games after replacing the fired David Fizdale. Bickerstaff compiled a record of 15-48 in those contests and following a 33-49 mark last season, he was also dismissed by the Grizzlies.

If Beilein leaves, he will depart with the Cavaliers after just 54 games, with the team compiling an unenviable record of 14-40.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.