Sources: James Borrego, Kenny Atkinson, Micah Nori advancing in Cavaliers head coaching search

The Cavaliers will have at least three candidates in town this week to interview for Cleveland’s head coaching vacancy, league sources told Yahoo Sports. New Orleans Pelicans associate head coach James Borrego completed a visit with Cavaliers brass on Tuesday, sources said, while Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson and Timberwolves assistant Micah Nori are also scheduled to meet with Cleveland officials in person this week. The Cavaliers have met with and are still conducting interviews with various candidates over Zoom as well, sources said, such as Knicks assistant Johnnie Bryant and Milwaukee Bucks assistant Dave Joerger.

Cleveland originally set forth a goal of replacing former head coach J.B. Bickerstaff by the start of the NBA Draft on June 26, prioritizing offensive innovation and creativity, sources said, for a Cavaliers roster that is still expected at this juncture to feature All-Star guards Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland in the backcourt, plus a frontcourt combination of Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley. Despite a wealth of interest in both Garland and Allen on the trade market, Cleveland is not expected to entertain trade offers for any member of its core four at this time, sources said, while a league-wide expectation only grows that Mitchell will sign a contract extension with the club that acquired him from Utah back in September 2022. Mobley’s progression as a scorer and playmaker, in addition to his high-caliber defense, has been viewed both among Cleveland staffers and rival front offices as a critical component to the Cavaliers’ continued rise up the Eastern Conference, sources said.

Borrego has also been categorized by league personnel as a leading candidate for the Lakers’ head coaching job, although Los Angeles’ search has been muddied by an unsuccessful pursuit of UConn head coach Dan Hurley. Borrego has been credited with boosting New Orleans’ offensive approach during this past season while aiding Willie Green’s staff.

Atkinson was the head coach in Brooklyn for parts of four seasons prior to joining Steve Kerr’s bench in Golden State. With the Nets, Atkinson helped oversee the development of Cavaliers guard Caris LeVert, as well as Allen — who has developed a strong on-court synergy with Mitchell.

Nori has been a longtime NBA assistant, with stops in Toronto, Sacramento, Denver and Detroit before his most recent post with Minnesota — where Nori assumed partial head coaching duties during these playoffs, as Timberwolves play caller Chris Finch endured a knee injury that required surgery.

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