Cavs agree to hire Kenny Atkinson as head coach: reports

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Cavs agree to hire Kenny Atkinson as head coach: reports

The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly agreed to hire Kenny Atkinson as its next head coach on Monday.

Atkinson served as an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors under Steve Kerr over the last three years. He was an assistant coach under Ty Lue with the Los Angeles Clippers.

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Assistant coach Kenny Atkinson of the Golden State Warriors reacts during the NBA Finals against the Celtics at TD Garden on June 16, 2022, in Boston. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Atkinson was the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets from 2016 to the middle of the 2019-20 season. He was fired by the Nets before the pandemic shut down the sports world. Jacque Vaughn replaced him at an interim level, but Steve Nash was eventually the successor.

He was 118-190 as the Nets’ head coach. The Cavaliers and Atkinson are expected to finalize their contract soon, ESPN reported.

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Kenny Atkinson with the Nets

Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson watches during the Wizards game, Feb. 1, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

He will replace J.B. Bickerstaff, who served as the team’s head coach from the 2019-20 season through the 2023-24 season. He guided the Cavaliers to the playoffs twice but the team failed to get to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Cleveland was 48-34 last season, finishing fourth in the conference.

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Kenny Atkinson walks the sidelines

Golden State Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson during a game on April 2, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

The Cavaliers have a few key offseason decisions to make as well in regard to some of its top players. A Donovan Mitchell contract extension appears to be at the top of the list. He’s owed $35.4 million this season but has a potential opt out before the start of 2025-26.

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