Utah Jazz assistant Alex Jensen is expected to interview with the Cavaliers next week, according to reports from The Athletic’s Joe Vardon and Tony Jones, and former Memphis Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff threw his hat into the ring during an interview Wednesday with SiriusXM NBA Radio.
According to The Athletic, the Cavs received permission to speak to Jensen, 42, the first coach of the then-D League’s Canton Charge from 2011-13. The Cavs affiliate reached the playoffs in both seasons and Jensen was named D League coach of the year in 2013 after the Charge recorded a franchise-best 30 victories and won the East Division.
Jensen has been a Jazz assistant since 2013 and held the same post with the German national team since 2015.
A native of Bountiful, Utah, Jensen played four seasons for Rick Majerus at the University of Utah and helped the Utes to the 1998 NCAA championship game. In the professional ranks, he spent seven seasons in Turkey and one with the Yakima Sun Kings of the CBA before moving into coaching in 2007 as an assistant under Majerus at St. Louis University. The Charge hired Jensen out of St. Louis in 2011.
Bickerstaff, 40, son of Cavs senior basketball adviser Bernie Bickerstaff, was fired as Grizzlies coach April 11. The younger Bickerstaff took over in Memphis 19 games into the 2017-18 season and went a combined 48-97. This season, the Grizzlies lost 18 double-digit leads and finished 33-49, prompting General Manager Chris Wallace and VP of basketball operations John Hollinger also to be reassigned.
In 2015-16, Bickerstaff served as interim coach of the Houston Rockets, going 37-34.
A former assistant in Charlotte (2004-07), Minnesota (2007-11), Houston (2011-16) and Memphis (2016-17), Bickerstaff expressed interest in the Cavs’ job during a SiriusXM interview with Zach Harper, Mitch Lawrence and Sarah Kustok.
“I know the quality of people that they have there,” Bickerstaff said. “I’ll let my agent handle all the conversations between the teams and that type of stuff, but I think they have a group of people in the front office that are trying to do things the right way, they’re trying to build an organization the right way and it would be an honor to have an opportunity to work with that group.”
The Cavs and coach Larry Drew mutually parted ways April 11. Drew took over after coach Tyronn Lue was fired after an 0-6 start and the lottery-bound Cavs finished 19-63.
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