CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Cavaliers have a new assistant coach. And it happens to be a familiar face.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Cavs are hiring Luke Walton to be an assistant coach on head coach J.B. Bickerstaff's staff. A former second-round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers, Walton spent portions of the final two seasons of his 10-year playing career in Cleveland, averaging 3.0 points, 2.8 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 71 appearances for the Cavs.
After retiring following the 2012-13 NBA season, Walton embarked on a coaching career, and quickly became one of the league's top assistants while working on Steve Kerr's staff with the Golden State Warriors. In 2016, he accepted the Lakers' head coaching position and amassed a 98-148 record in three seasons before parting ways the franchise.
The son of Hall of Fame center Bill Walton didn't stay unemployed for long, as the Sacramento Kings hired him as their new head coach in 2019. Walton, however, failed to find much success in Sacramento, totaling consecutive 31-41 seasons before being fired after a 6-11 start to the 2021-22 season.
In returning to Cleveland, Walton joins the staff of a Cavs team considered to possess one of the most promising young rosters in the NBA. With point guard Darius Garland and center Jarrett Allen each being selected to the All-Star Game and big man Evan Mobley earning unanimous All-Rookie first-team honors, Cleveland totaled a 44-38 record last season before losing to the Brooklyn Nets and the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament.