Cleveland Cavaliers zeroing in on top Western Conference assistant for head coach job

Cleveland Cavaliers promote Koby Altman to GM.

As the Cleveland Cavaliers’ process to find a new head coach plays out, they have primarily been linked to James Borrego. It makes sense. The former Charlotte Hornets head coach is highly respected around the NBA and found himself as a top candidate for the Los Angeles Lakers’ opening before they hired JJ Redick.

Borrego was a top assistant under Willie Green with the New Orleans Pelicans this past season, displaying his innovative offensive mind in the process. Depending on what happens this summer, Cleveland has the talent on offense to fully utilize that.

Despite all of this, a new report suggests that we should hold back on anointing Borrego as the replacement for the recently-fired J.B. Bickerstaff.

“I’m hearing the Cavs could end up where they started the search – with Kenny Atkinson. The former Brooklyn head coach was high on Cleveland’s list in the beginning,” Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com reported.

Atkinson is currently the top assistant for Steve Kerr with the Golden State Warriors. He served as the Brooklyn Nets’ head coach from 2016-20. Both Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert played under Atkinson in Brooklyn.

Related: Donovan Mitchell has insane control over Cleveland Cavaliers

What Kenny Atkinson would bring to the Cleveland Cavaliers

Kenny Atkinson, Cleveland Cavaliers
Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Atkinson is known a lot for his player development. This came out in droves as Jonathan Kuminga made major strides under his watch with the Warriors. This is Atkinson’s true calling card.

It would be an interesting hire given that the Cavaliers have proven players in that of Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland and the aforementioned Allen leading the charge.

Could the potential hiring of Atkinson suggest widespread roster moves this summer?

“I don’t see why we should,” Cleveland Cavaliers front office head Koby Altman told reporters recently. “And the same thing goes [for the] fit of the Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen. There’s a depth of talent here that’s really, really good. And when you look at the landscape of the league and how long, like 82 games, we can’t discount [the impact of] injuries.”

Cleveland has decisions to make with the aforementioned Mitchell, Garland and Allen. All three have come up in trade conversations during the early part of the offseason.

Whether hiring Atkinson would change the dynamics remains to be seen.

Related: Updated Cleveland Cavaliers news and rumors

Mentioned in this article:

More About: