Report: Cavs hiring Luke Walton was ‘sparked’ by J.B. Bickerstaff

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliersdecision to hire Luke Walton as an assistant coach was originally “sparked” by Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff.

According to Right Down Euclid’s Evan Dammarell, Bickerstaff values Walton’s experience both as a player and head coach in the NBA.

“Sources say that the decision to bring him into the fold was originally sparked by head coach J.B. Bickerstaff and a lot of it has to do with Walton’s valuable experience as both a player and a coach,” Dammarell wrote.

Walton last served as the head coach of the Sacramento Kings during the 2021-22 season. He was let go just 17 games into the season after the Kings got out to a 6-11 start.

Walton spent two seasons as an assistant coach under Steve Kerr with the Golden State Warriors before he was hired to be the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers prior to the start of the 2016-17 regular season.

After three seasons in Los Angeles, Walton spent just over two full seasons with the Kings. He has a career head coaching record of 166-241 and hasn’t led a team to the playoffs.

While Walton’s coaching success hasn’t been there, he clearly has a ton of experience in the NBA. Bickerstaff clearly values all that Walton has accomplished in his career.

The Cavs are hoping that Walton can help coach the team into the playoffs in the 2022-23 season. Cleveland made the league’s play-in tournament in the 2021-22 campaign, but it lost back-to-back games to fall out of the playoff picture.

Bickerstaff has turned the Cavs around over the past few seasons, so it makes sense that the organization trusts him to integrate Walton into the coaching staff.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.