Cleveland Cavaliers hiring Kenny Atkinson as new head coach: Reports

Atkinson's previous NBA head coaching job was with the Nets from 2016-2020

The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly hiring Kenny Atkinson to be their next head coach, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic's Shams Charania.

Atkinson replaces J.B. Bickerstaff, who was fired on May 23 after five seasons. The deal is for for five years, according to Wojnarowski. Other terms weren't reported.

This will be Atkinson's second NBA head coaching job after leading the Brooklyn Nets from 2016-20. Prior to his time with the Nets, Atkinson was an assistant for the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks from 2008-16.

After stepping down as Nets head coach in March 2020, Atkinson was hired by the Golden State Warriors as an assistant coach in August 2021 and remained there through the 2023-24 season.

In June 2022, Atkinson reportedly worked out a deal to take over as Charlotte Hornets head coach, but decided against the move to stay with the Warriors.

There will be some familiarity in Cleveland for Atkinson. Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen and guard Caris LeVert both played for him in Brooklyn and reportedly praised him when asked by teammates.

The Cavaliers made the playoffs for the second straight season, losing to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals. It was also the first time the franchise won a playoff series without LeBron James since 1993.

Now that the coaching situation is taken care of, Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman can focus on trying to secure Donovan Mitchell's future in Cleveland. The five-time All-Star guard is eligible to sign a five-year, $269.9 million max extension when he becomes a free agent after the 2024-25 season.