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John Beilein Is Reportedly In ‘Advanced Talks’ To Step Down As Cavs Head Coach (UPDATE)

UPDATE: John Beilein is on his way out. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ coach will leave the team on Wednesday after he says goodbye to people within the organization, and in his place, associate head coach J.B. Bickerstaff will get a promotion.

Beilein, who had never coached in the NBA prior to this campaign, left the University of Michigan to take over the Cavaliers this past offseason.

EARLIER: In the middle of crunch time of the wildly entertaining 2020 NBA All-Star Game, word broke from multiple sources that the Cleveland Cavaliers and head coach John Beilein could be parting ways in the near future. As of Sunday night, however, the two sides were still working through the exact arrangement, with decisions that needed to be made in advance of Cleveland’s return to action after the All-Star break.

The main question was whether Beilein would end his brief NBA coaching career immediately or after the season, as all indications were that no matter what this would be his only year in Cleveland. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Beilein had a meeting scheduled with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert on Monday afternoon, and on Tuesday afternoon, Charania and Jason Lloyd reported the two sides were in “advanced talks” to cut his tenure short, with the final decision expected to come Wednesday when the Cavs are scheduled to have their first post-All-Star practice.

A resolution is expected by Wednesday, and sources with knowledge of the situation say Beilein is expected to walk away from the remainder of his contract, which was originally a four-year deal — with a team option for a fifth — worth about $4 to 4.5 million per year.

The Cavaliers will return from the All-Star break with their first practice on Wednesday, when many team officials and coaches expect to have the Beilein cloud behind them, sources said. They are widely expected to promote associate head coach J.B. Bickerstaff to replace Beilein. He would be the Cavs sixth coach in the past seven seasons.

The Bickerstaff promotion was confirmed by Marc Stein of the New York Times.

The original reporting of the story cited Beilein as struggling in his high-profile transition from his post as a college coach at Michigan to his new role in charge of a rebuilding NBA team. Beyond that, there was buzz that his son, Patrick Beilein, stepping down as the head coach at Niagara made a tangible impact on Beilein, even as he was operating in a leadership role in Cleveland. Ultimately, numerous factors apparently came to a head, with the result arriving in this fashion.

Should this indeed be the end, the Cavaliers went 14-40 in Beilein’s tenure, not a stunning record given the team’s makeup, but the lack of much in the way of improvement from their young players that are expected to be the core — namely in the area of consistency — coupled with the apparent tensions his implementation of his system created with veterans led to his eventual departure less than one season into his deal. It will be Bickerstaff’s third interim coaching tenure, if he does take over midseason.

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