Confusing Report on JB Bickerstaff's Job Security Emerges After Cavs' Exit

After the Cleveland Cavaliers' loss to the Celtics in the second round, questions about head coach JB Bickerstaff's future began to emerge.
Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, the Cleveland Cavaliers bowed out in the second round of the playoffs against the Boston Celtics. Despite being very short-handed throughout the series, the Cavs put up a respectable fight, keeping it close in the last two games. Losing 4-1 to the championship favorites without Jarrett Allen the entire way and Donovan Mitchell for half of the series is certainly understandable.

However, for some reason, the Cavaliers front office is treating this as a reason to make sweeping changes within the organization. Head coach JB Bickerstaff has come under fire since Wednesday's night loss but the reports surrounding his status have been confusing.

Shams Charania of The Athletic has called Bickerstaff's job "in serious jeopardy".

"League sources briefed on the Cavaliers’ mindset told The Athletic that Bickerstaff’s job is in serious jeopardy after five and a half years as head coach, following the team’s season-ending loss in Game 5 of the second round to the Boston Celtics. Two league sources said the team is likely to take some time — multiple days — to make a decision."

Shams Charania, The Athletic

Bickerstaff has been the head coach in Cleveland since the middle of the 2019-20 season. The team has seen major improvement every year under Bickerstaff, losing in the first round in the 2023 playoffs and making it to the second round this season.

Considering how short-handed this year's group was, it's hard to blame Bickerstaff. Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, and Evan Mobley all missed at least 25 games in the regular season. Winning 48 games despite this can be deemed a success.

That is why the front office seems undecided about what to do with Bickerstaff. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the organization "remains fond of him" and will take time to evaluate his future. The fact that the "marketplace is sparse" of elite head coach replacements is pointed out by Wojnarowski as a factor in this decision.

It's less than ideal that all of this came out immediately after the playoff exit. It doesn't bode well for Bickerstaff. Keeping him around for another season only because the potential replacements aren't great is not a good reason to retain a coach.

He hasn't done a particularly poor job in Cleveland, but it sure seems like Bickerstaff's time with the Cavs is coming to an end.

More Cavs news and rumors: