JB Bickerstaff Rumors
Bickerstaff impressed the Cavaliers during his interview for the head-coaching gig and was considered one of the team’s top candidates until John Beilein agreed to leave the University of Michigan. According to sources, the Cavs put Bickerstaff at the top of their list for Beilein’s No. 1 assistant, but didn’t want to force any coaches on Beilein, instead giving him the freedom to hire his own staff. On Wednesday morning, Beilein and Bickerstaff met for breakfast in Chicago at the Combine and the two hit it off, sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Cleveland has hired JB Bickerstaff as associate head coach, league sources tell ESPN. Bickerstaff was a target of several teams, but Cavs were determined to pair him with John Beilein and made him one of league’s top paid assistants.
With John Beilein as new head coach, the Cleveland Cavaliers have started the process of looking at candidates to fill out his staff. According to sources who spoke with cleveland.com, ex-Memphis Grizzlies head coach J.B. Bickerstaff is one possibility and Bickerstaff is expected to discuss that opportunity with Beilein in the near future.
Chris Fedor: #Cavs understand that there will be lots of competition for J.B. Bickerstaff as lead assistant, league sources tell @clevelanddotcom. Many teams want him. But he’s a guy they covet for John Beilein’s staff and it wouldn’t be as tricky as trying to pry away a guy under contract
Bickerstaff has been praised for his player development and defensive approach, helping the undermanned Grizzlies finish ninth in defensive rating — a massive improvement from 2017-18 when they ranked 22nd. The Cavs also known him well, as his father, Bernie, is currently a Senior Basketball Advisor with the team.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Cavs coach John Beilein and JB Bickerstaff expected to soon discuss possibility of an associate head coaching role, sources tell ESPN. Bickerstaff interviewed for Cavs and Lakers openings. He remains a sought-after top assistant on market. Beilein wants an experienced NBA staff.