Cavaliers first-year coach John Beilein is stepping down after 54 games, according to multiple reports. ESPN reported that Beilein is expected to say goodbye to staff and players Wednesday when they return from the All-Star break. The Cavs have the NBA’s second-worst record at 14-40.
Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman and Beilein began discussing the possibility of the coach stepping down before the beginning of the All-Star break last week, sources said.
Cleveland ownership and management had been determined to see through a difficult start with Beilein, but it became increasingly apparent to the front office and the coach that the partnership was headed for an inevitable split.
The Cavaliers and Beilein negotiated a financial settlement that will pay him a portion of the remaining money on his 2019-20 contract, league sources said. He left Michigan and signed a five-year contract with Cleveland that included a team option for the final season, a deal that paid him more than $4 million per season.
Associate head coach J.B. Bickerstaff is expected to take over on an interim basis for Beilein. Bickerstaff coached in Memphis for nearly two full seasons before being fired last year. He was also Houston’s head coach in 2015-16.