NBA Hoops

Sources – Cavs to take time to evaluate J.B. Bickerstaff’s future

Sources - Cavs to take time to evaluate J.B. Bickerstaff's future

BOSTON — After Cleveland saw its season end in a 113-98 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Wednesday night, Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said he wants to continue being the team’s head coach.

“Yeah,” Bickerstaff said when asked that during his postgame news conference. “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.

“This is definitely a place I want to be.”

When Bickerstaff was later asked if it was a place he expects to be, he laughed and said, “I mean, no one’s told me I’m not.

“So, I’ll keep showing up ’til they tell me not to.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, citing sources, reported Wednesday that the Cavaliers plan to take time to evaluate Bickerstaff’s future, but the organization remains fond of him. Bickerstaff has been the head coach in Cleveland for four-plus seasons, having led the franchise to back-to-back playoff berths, including winning a first-round series against the Orlando Magic in these playoffs — a feat the franchise hadn’t done since 2018, and hadn’t done without LeBron James on the roster since 1993.

But Bickerstaff’s future is far from the only question surrounding the Cavaliers as they head into the offseason. The bigger question is what the future will hold for Cavaliers star guard Donovan Mitchell, who sat out Game 5 with a left calf strain, the same injury that kept him out of Game 4.

Mitchell, who was acquired by the Cavaliers 18 months ago for a package of Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton and several future first-round picks, has had back-to-back All-Star seasons in Cleveland, and was spectacular in these playoffs before getting injured. He became the second Cavalier ever — along with James — to score at least 25 points in six consecutive playoff games.

Now, he has to decide whether he wants to commit to Cleveland moving forward, as he has one year left on his contract before a player option for the 2025-26 season.

Per ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Mitchell could sign a four-year, $208 million extension with the Cavaliers.

Because Mitchell didn’t play, he didn’t speak to the media Wednesday night.

When asked about the situation the Cavaliers have built around Mitchell, Bickerstaff said there’s a lot that should be attractive for someone like Mitchell as he decides what he wants to…

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