Report: Cavaliers hiring Luke Walton as assistant coach
Luke Walton played so well for the Cavaliers in his last season, 2012-13, he became the namesake of Zach Lowe’s “Luke Walton All-Stars” – an annual team honoring veteran role players who make surprising contributions.
Now, Walton is returning to Cleveland.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
The Cleveland Cavaliers are hiring Luke Walton as an assistant coach, sources tell ESPN. Walton joins JB Bickerstaff's coaching staff after spending five-plus years as head coach of the Lakers and Kings. Walton spent his final two seasons as a player with Cleveland a decade ago.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 31, 2022
Walton looked good as assistant on the Warriors, going 39-4 as acting head coach in 2015-16 while Steve Kerr was out following back surgery. As Lakers head coach, Walton looked far worse. He didn’t impress as Kings head coach, either, getting fired in November.
This is the type of job Walton probably should have gotten after failing in Los Angeles. He was a savvy player, especially with the Cavs after his athleticism waned. He can help as an assistant.
Walton might even have upward mobility in Cleveland. Bickerstaff looks secure, but the Cavaliers fired their last three non-interim head coaches and promoted an assistant:
- David Blatt to Tyronn Lue
- Tyronn Lue to Larry Drew
- John Beilein to J.B. Bickerstaff
Lue and Bickerstaff even kept the head job long-term.
Again, definitely not predicting Bickerstaff will get fired anytime soon. But expectations in Cleveland are rising, and the Cavs have frequently changed coaches. It’s not the worst place to be an assistant with head-coaching experience.