The Cleveland Cavaliers are hiring Luke Walton as an assistant coach.
Walton joins coach J.B. Bickerstaff’s staff after spending the past five-plus seasons as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings.
Walton — who played parts of his final two seasons as a player with the Cavaliers a decade ago — brings significant championship coaching and playing experience to a Cavaliers franchise on the rise in the Eastern Conference.
“We are very excited to add someone of Luke’s caliber and championship DNA to our coaching staff,” president of basketball operations Koby Altman said in a statement. “His on-court experiences as a head coach, assistant coach and player in this league fit seamlessly into J.B.’s existing coaching staff. Luke is someone who truly embraces player development, a team-first mentality, and a history of creating winning basketball habits. We welcome Luke, his wife Bre and the entire Walton family back to Northeast Ohio.”
Under Bickerstaff, the Cavaliers made a dramatic rise in the conference into the play-in tournament. The Cavaliers’ young core — including All-Star guard Darius Garland, All-Rookie forward/center Evan Mobley and the burgeoning 7-footer Jarrett Allen — are expected to make Cleveland a contender to move into the conference’s elite next season.
Walton, who was dismissed in November after a 6-11 start with the Kings, was part of an NBA championship coaching staff with Golden State under Steve Kerr in 2015. He won two titles — 2009 and 2010 — as a member of the Lakers.
Bickerstaff signed a long-term extension as the Cavaliers’ coach in December.