Skip to content

Report: Cavs hiring Warriors' Atkinson as head coach

Elsa / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Cleveland Cavaliers are hiring Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson as their next head coach, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

A deal is expected soon, according to Wojnarowski.

The Cavaliers also strongly considered New Orleans Pelicans associate head coach James Borrego for the vacancy. Borrego was a finalist for the Los Angeles Lakers' vacancy and is expected to be a prominent candidate for the Detroit Pistons' opening, sources told Wojnarowski.

Cleveland will now turn to signing All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell to a contract extension. The 27-year-old has one year left on his deal before he can use an early termination option and enter free agency. Mitchell had a conversation with Atkinson and approved his hiring, sources told Chris Fedor of

Atkinson - best known as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets from 2016-20 - helped the rebuilding franchise reach the playoffs in 2019, where it played a memorable first-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers.

After stepping down during the 2019-20 campaign, he joined the Los Angeles Clippers before landing with the Warriors. He contributed to the team's title win in 2022. During the NBA Finals, he informally agreed to become the next coach of the Charlotte Hornets but turned them down to stay with the Warriors.

A strong player development coach, he reunites with two of his former Nets players - Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert. The Cavaliers are also eager to see Atkinson's development plan for Evan Mobley, sources told Wojnarowski.

The Cavaliers parted ways with J.B. Bickerstaff after losing in the second round to the eventual champion Boston Celtics. Cleveland's first-round win over the Orlando Magic was the franchise's first playoff series victory without LeBron James since 1998.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox