Koby Altman’s crystal clear message on whether J.B. Bickerstaff will be with Cavs next season

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Brian Westerholt-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers president of basketball operations Koby Altman made it crystal clear that Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff will be back for the 2023-24 season.

Altman told Cleveland.com and one other outlet that there is “no question” that Bickerstaff will be back next season.

“End that speculation,” Altman said. “Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely. There’s no question about that. Look at what he has accomplished. I have not heard that stuff. Maybe because I haven’t been reading or been on Twitter. I have not heard that noise. That’s not even a question.”

While the Cavs came up short in the playoffs this season, losing to the New York Knicks in five games, Bickerstaff has been great since taking over the team during the 2019-20 season.

The Cavs head coach has amassed a 122-125 record in Cleveland, leading the team to a 44-win season in the 2021-22 campaign and 51-win season in the 2022-23 campaign.

While the Cavs missed the playoffs last season, they picked up the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference this season.

Some fans may be frustrated with how the Cavs performed in the playoffs against the Knicks, but it’s hard to fault Bickerstaff since the Cavs lacked wing depth to compete with New York.

Isaac Okoro, who was benched in favor of Caris LeVert, and Cedi Osman both underperformed in the postseason, as they struggled shooting the ball from beyond the arc.

Cleveland could make another leap next season if the team can add more depth to the roster, and Altman seems to trust Bickerstaff to be the coach to lead that group.

It would be a bit counterproductive to move on from Bickerstaff for losing in the playoffs this season. While the team would have loved to get past the Knicks, the first-round series exposed some key weaknesses that the Cavs need to address this offseason.

One of those is improving on the wing, but the team also could use a guard behind Garland and Mitchell (aside from Ricky Rubio) that can give it consistent scoring and playmaking. Cleveland relied very heavily on both of its star guards in the series against New York.

With Bickerstaff expected back, the Cavs can now focus on making the necessary changes to improve for the 2023-24 campaign.

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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.