Home Sports Cavaliers GM Koby Altman does not expect major roster changes after firing J.B. Bickerstaff

Cavaliers GM Koby Altman does not expect major roster changes after firing J.B. Bickerstaff

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Cavaliers GM Koby Altman does not expect major roster changes after firing J.B. Bickerstaff

The Cleveland Cavaliers began what could be an offseason full of changes after firing head coach JB Bickerstaff on Thursday. According to general manager Koby Altman, the team’s progress had stalled under Bickerstaff.

However, Altman told reporters Friday that he likes the Cavs’ core talent and wants to keep it together.

“I don’t see big radical changes. I just don’t see them,” Altman said, via Cleveland.com. “Like I said, there’s more data that talks about (how) this works than there isn’t. You can’t win 99 games during the regular season, get to the conference semifinals and say, this doesn’t work. Again, this is “only the second year of this iteration of this core of being together and I have a lot of excitement for the future of this group and faith in this group.”

However, Altman’s intention to bring this group back with a new head coach could be derailed if star guard Donovan Mitchell decides he doesn’t want to stay in Cleveland and asks for a trade, either directly or indirectly by not agreeing to a contract. .

Mitchell is under contract for one more season and has a $37 million player option for the 2025-26 season. If he wants a trade, the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers (according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports) are among the teams that would seek a deal.

Altman said he couldn’t discuss a new contract with Mitchell until he’s eligible for a max extension in July (July 30, to be exact). But the Cavaliers can offer the five-time All-Star more money than any other team with a four-year, $200 million extension.

Based on exit interviews, Altman is confident that Mitchell wants to be a part of the Cavaliers’ future and is excited about the direction of the team. Dismissing Bickerstaff, in whom Mitchell had lost confidence, according to El Atlético – probably helps that optimism, although Altman denied that Mitchell’s contract situation was a factor in making a coaching change.

Mitchell’s decision would likely influence other roster decisions as well, particularly whether he and point guard Darius Garland are a good fit for Cleveland’s defense. Not being able to find a solution is probably one of the reasons Bickerstaff was fired. Will a new coach make that combination work?

According to Altman, the idea that Mitchell and Garland can’t play together is “overblown.”

“There’s a lot more data that shows it works than it doesn’t,” he said. “Over the last two years combined, because they’ve been together for two years, there’s a lot of data we can look at. Over the last two years, including the playoffs, they’re net positive, +5 together on the floor.”

Altman noted that both players achieved excellent numbers in their first season together. Garland averaged 21.6 points and 7.8 assists and shot 41% on three-pointers. Mitchell scored 28.3 points per game on 48% shooting (39% on three-pointers).

Why Garland’s production declined in 2023-24 is something the next coach will have to figure out, unless the point guard wants to be traded if Mitchell re-signs. Garland’s agent, Rich Paul, didn’t provide any clarity on that in an interview with Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes.

“There’s not much to say,” Paul said. “I think people have their own opinions about what works and what doesn’t.”

Garland has four more seasons on the five-year, $193 million extension he signed in July 2022.

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