5 Cavaliers on Thin Ice After J.B. Bickerstaff Firing

The Cleveland Cavaliers fired their head coach. Who is the next name to be out the door?
Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
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The Cleveland Cavaliers finally made the anticipated decision to fire their head coach J.B. Bickerstaff after the second-round loss to the Boston Celtics. It is hard to argue that Bickerstaff deserved to be fired, but the NBA can be a harsh business.

There will surely be more departures to follow Bickerstaff. Cleveland's problems go deeper than just coaching. It is an ill-fitting roster with significant holes. We can reasonably expect that the Cavaliers will address these holes in the offseason. Here are five members of the Cavs who may find themselves out of Cleveland in the summer.

1. Darius Garland

It would be organizational malpractice to start next season with the Darius Garland-Donovan Mitchell backcourt duo. The Cavs need to admit to themselves that the experiment didn't work. And considering that Mitchell is the far superior player, it's time to part ways with Garland.

On paper, the Garland-Mitchell pairing is intriguing. Both players can handle the ball, pass, and shoot. They both have an ability to play on and off the ball, potentially forming a dynamic, dangerous duo. Yet, Garland was never able to repeat his All-Star campaign in the 2021-22 season once Mitchell arrived from Utah.

Plus, there are the defensive concerns. Both Mitchell and Garland are undersized. They don't have the physical tools or the defensive intensity to guard effectively. If neither your point guard nor shooting guard can defend the other team's perimeter creators, that puts a lot of pressure on other players on the team. Cleveland gave up way too much penetration and was overwhelmed against more physical opponents.

Retooling the roster around Mitchell and getting better defenders instead of Garland would be the right move for Cleveland this summer.