J.B. Bickerstaff’s job in ‘serious jeopardy’ after Cleveland’s playoff elimination

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Maybe J.B. Bickerstaff hasn’t taken the Cavaliers to the same heights that the franchise enjoyed back when LeBron James was in town, but he’s certainly been the best coach they’ve had ever since. For example, this season Cleveland earned their first ever playoff series win without the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, and has also lead his squad to back-to-back postseason appearances. 

In spite of this, numerous insiders like Joe Vardon, Jason Lloyd and Shams Charania have coincided that Bickerstaff’s role is “in serious jeopardy” after last week’s season-ending defeat against the Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference’s semifinals.

Even though these actions aren’t to be taken immediately, the team “is likely to take some time—multiple days—to make a decision.” On the other hand, Adrian Wojnarowski shared that the Cavs front office will have “a lot of conversations on different ways to proceed” heading into the summer.

“After an Eastern Conference semifinal loss to Celtics with short-handed lineup, Cavaliers plan to take time to evaluate coach JB Bickerstaff’s future, but organization remains fond of him and marketplace is sparse of proven candidates. There will be a lot of conversations on different ways to proceed for a franchise that reached Eastern semis for first time since 2018,” said the ESPN reporter.

Even though his days in Cleveland might be coming to an end, J.B. Bickerstaff mentioned last week that he wishes to continue being the squad’s head coach.

“Yeah,” he started out. “We have continued to build this thing the right way. Every single year we’ve improved, continued to get better, play-in, playoffs, win a round … players have gotten better. Guys have had great years.”

The 45-year-old is convinced that no one has insinuated that he’s leaving. “This is definitely a place I want to be,” he made sure everyone knew. “I mean, no one’s told me I’m not. So, I’ll keep showing up ’til they tell me not to.”

The Cavaliers have many decisions to make this summer, while they hope both Mitchell and Garland will extend their contracts

Now that sources have reported that many teams are eyeing Donovan Mitchell, as he’s yet to extend his contract in Ohio, the Cavs will have many important decisions to make this offseason. According to Bickerstaff, he will always want to stay in Cleveland because of the team he’s helped build the past couple of campaigns.

“We’ve got a good team,”J.B. assured. “We’ve got good individual players, we have high-character players that are concerned about winning. And anytime you have that, you’re gonna give yourself an opportunity.”

Things might get complicated for the Cavaliers if Darius Garland doesn’t renew his deal with the Cavaliers. However, the 24-year-old still believes that the club has a great project ahead and that the team has improved year after year.

“We take a leap every year, so hopefully next year we take another leap,” the point guard said. “Hopefully we’ll be in the Eastern Conference finals fully healthy and just take another leap. Definitely came a long way from when I was drafted. I went from 19 wins to being in the semifinals of the conference, so I’ll take it, just to keep getting better and better every year.”