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Cavs reward head coach J.B. Bickerstaff with multiyear contract extension

Bickerstaff has led the Cavs to the 5th-best record in the Eastern Conference at 19-13 and the franchise’s best 32-game start since 2017-18.

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff has received a multiyear contract extension for his role in the team’s dramatic turnaround.

Cleveland announced Bickerstaff’s signing on Saturday. Terms of the deal were not released.

“J.B. Bickerstaff is, with all certainty, the right head coach to lead this franchise into what we believe is a very promising future,” Cavs GM Koby Altman said. “The decision to extend J.B. is not based solely on the early success of this season, but rather a body of work since his arrival to Cleveland. His leadership style, coaching experience and commitment to player development has instilled a growing confidence that resonates across our entire organization. We continue to see innovative and strategic examples of his impact on this roster, coupled by his unique ability to build upon a culture that leads to sustainable success.”

ESPN reported Bickerstaff is under contract through the 2026-27 season.

After winning just 22 games last season, the Cavs are 19-13 and fifth in the Eastern Conference. They recently won six straight games, but were hit with a COVID-19 outbreak and had to place eight players in health protocols.

The affable 42-year-old Bickerstaff took over when John Beilein walked away midway through the 2019 season. Prior to coaching in Cleveland, Bickerstaff was an interim coach in Houston and Memphis.

The Cavs won only 19 games in Bickerstaff’s abbreviated first season, but were showing great promise before the season was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cleveland was ravaged by injuries last season, and finished 22-50.

Expectations were low heading into this season, but the arrival of rookie forward Evan Mobley, the No. 3 overall draft pick, and veteran guard Ricky Rubio have been huge factors in the Cavs’ rise.