The Cleveland Cavaliers are hiring Luke Walton as an assistant coach, sources told ESPN on Tuesday.
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.
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.