Cavs’ Next Coach Odds: James Borrego installed as favorite

The Cleveland Cavaliers have embarked on their search for the franchise’s next coach after firing J.B. Bickerstaff on Thursday.

The Cavs are coming off their first trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals in six years. However, Donovan Mitchell’s future with the team remains a question, which could complicate finding the ideal successor for Bickerstaff.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that New Orleans Pelicans assistant James Borrego is one of the early frontrunners, and the former Charlotte Hornets coach has been installed as the 3/1 favorite by

Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson is also reportedly on the early short list, although his 5/1 odds are slightly longer than that of Sam Cassell at 4/1.

Atkinson, 56, previously coached the Brooklyn Nets for four seasons and is a longtime assistant including stints with the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks. Cassell, 54, is currently an assistant with Boston after spending time with Washington, Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Clippers since retiring from his playing career in 2009.

JJ Redick has not coached at the college or NBA levels, but has been tied to multiple potential openings this year. He is believed to be one of the top considerations for the Lakers along with Borrego and Atkinson.

In all, odds are being offered on 23 candidates — all the way down to the entertaining longshots of college coaching legends Mike Krzyzewski and Rick Pitino.


James Borrego (3/1)

Sam Cassell (4/1)

Kenny Atkinson (5/1)

JJ Redick (6/1)

David Adelman (7/1)

Chris Quinn (8/1)

Phil Handy (9/1)

Terry Stotts (10/1)

Frank Vogel (14/1)

Adrian Griffin (16/1)

Mike D’Antoni (20/1)

Micah Nori (33/1)

Tyronn Lue (33/1)

Becky Hammon (40/1)

Johnnie Bryant (40/1)

Luke Walton (40/1)

Dave Joerger (45/1)

Mark Jackson (45/1)

Mike Brown (50/1)

Jay Wright (75/1)

Steve Nash (75/1)

Mike Krzyzewski (100/1)

Rick Pitino (100/1)

*Odds provided are for informational purposes only.

The major offseason question looming for the Cavs is whether they try to deal Mitchell or young star Darius Garland, who may request a trade should Cleveland retain Mitchell.

The Cavaliers managed to get past Orlando in seven games this season before falling to the Boston Celtics in five games in an injury-marred series.

Bickerstaff, 45, compiled a record of 170-159 since replacing John Beilein in February 2020.

After going 22-50 in his first full season, the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 campaign, the Cavaliers improved to 44-38 in 2021-22 and 51-31 in 2022-23 before finishing 48-34 this season.

“J.B. is a well-respected NBA coach and an incredible human being,” president of basketball operations Koby Altman said. “Over the past four years, he helped establish a culture that progressively drove players to become the best versions of themselves. Decisions like these are never easy, particularly when you look back at where this franchise rebuild started under his leadership.”

The victory against the Magic was the first playoff series win for the Cavaliers since LeBron James led them to four straight NBA Finals appearances from 2015-18.

Bickerstaff previously coached the Houston Rockets (37-34 in 2015-16) and Memphis Grizzlies (48-97 from 2017-19) before taking over in Cleveland.