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Adrian WojnarowskiSenior NBA Insider
- Host of The Woj Pod
- Joined ESPN in 2017
Amid a dramatic franchise transformation, the Cleveland Cavaliers have signed coach J.B. Bickerstaff to a multiyear extension, the team announced Saturday.
Bickerstaff will be under contract through the 2026-27 season, sources told ESPN.
Bickerstaff and general manager Koby Altman have worked together to reshape the Cavaliers around a young core — including guard Darius Garland and big men Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley — that appears to have a significant runway for success.
“J.B. Bickerstaff is, with all certainty, the right head coach to lead this franchise into what we believe is a very promising future,” said Altman in a prepared statement. “The decision to extend J.B. is not based solely on the early success of this season, but rather a body of work since his arrival to Cleveland. His leadership style, coaching experience and commitment to player development has instilled a growing confidence that resonates across our entire organization. We continue to see innovative and strategic examples of his impact on this roster, coupled by his unique ability to build upon a culture that leads to sustainable success.”
Bickerstaff has led the Cavaliers to a 19-13 start and fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Before COVID-19 sidelined several key players recently, Cleveland won six straight games from Dec. 8-18 by an average margin of 21.5 points.
The Cavaliers rank third in defensive efficiency this season, trailing only Golden State and Phoenix. Cleveland ranked 25th a season ago.
Bickerstaff’s representative, Bret Just of WME, finalized details on the extension with Cleveland management in recent days, sources said.
Bickerstaff, 42, replaced John Beilein as the Cavs’ coach midway through the 2019-20 season, after previously serving as an interim coach in both Houston and Memphis.
The Cavaliers won just 19 games in 2019-20 and 22 games in 2020-21. Cleveland has improved its winning percentage by .288 percentage points, the largest increase in the NBA this season.