Cavaliers Rumors: Ex-Grizzlies HC J.B. Bickerstaff Hired as Associate Head Coach

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2019

MEMPHIS, TN - MARCH 10: Head Coach J.B. Bickerstaff of the Memphis Grizzlies looks on against the Orlando Magic on March 10, 2019 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly hired J.B. Bickerstaff to serve as their associate head coach on the staff of new head coach John Beilein.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the update Sunday, noting the former Memphis Grizzlies head coach was a "target of several teams" before the Cavs made him one of NBA's top-paid assistants.

Bickerstaff, 40, was fired by the Grizzlies in April after missing the playoffs by 15 games with a 33-49 record. Memphis posted a 15-48 mark while he served as its interim head coach during the 2017-18 season following the firing of David Fizdale, who's now with the New York Knicks.

The campaign fell well short of expectations, which were in part set by the upbeat tone the Denver native used after his interim tag was removed last May.

"We're going into it with an optimistic view, and we're planning on success," Bickerstaff told reporters at the time. "We're planning on a playoff run. There's no doubt about it."

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The University of Minnesota product served as the Houston Rockets' interim head coach for most of the 2015-16 season after Kevin McHale was let go. The team went 37-34 under his guidance to earn a playoff berth before getting knocked out in the first round by the Golden State Warriors.

In all, Bickerstaff's teams have gone 85-131 during his time as a head coach.

He's also spent time as an assistant with the Grizzlies, Rockets, Charlotte Bobcats and Minnesota Timberwolves during a 15-year coaching career.

Bickerstaff will be tasked with helping ease the transition of Beilein, who's arriving to the NBA for the first time after more than four decades at the collegiate ranks.

The Cavs' roster will need ample upgrades around point guard Collin Sexton, the eighth overall pick in the 2018 draft, before the team is prepared to contend, though. The rebuilding process continues with the No. 5 selection in this year's draft.

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