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New favorite emerging for Cavaliers head coaching job?

A Cleveland Cavaliers logo on shorts

Jan 30, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; A view of the Cleveland Cavaliers logo on the shorts of Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) during the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeat the Cavaliers 104-97. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The last remaining head coaching vacancy in the Eastern Conference may be rounding into shape.

Speaking Monday on the show “Get Up,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that James Borrego is gaining momentum for the Cleveland Cavaliers head coach job.

“James Borrego … he’s getting momentum in Cleveland,” Windhorst said. “He’s expected to interview there early this week as a potential leading candidate developing with the Cavs.”

The Cavaliers recently fired head coach JB Bickerstaff after four full seasons (and a partial fifth season) in charge. They have already interviewed several well-known candidates for the job, including Minnesota Timberwolves lead assistant Micah Nori and New York Knicks associate head coach Johnnie Bryant, who is close with Cavs star Donovan Mitchell. We also heard a couple weeks ago that there was a different leading candidate for the Cleveland job.

As for Borrego, 46, he is notable in that he already has NBA head coaching experience, serving as interim head coach of the Orlando Magic in 2014-15 and then as the full-time head coach of the Charlotte Hornets from 2018-22. While Borrego’s career record of 148-183 (.447) is rather unimpressive, he is a well-regarded coach from Gregg Popovich’s coaching tree (winning NBA titles as an assistant on the San Antonio Spurs in 2005 and 2007). Borrego also rebuilt his stock this season as the associate head coach for the New Orleans Pelicans.

Earlier this month, it seemed like Borrego was one of the finalists for an open head coaching job in the Western Conference. Instead though, he may be gaining traction as the potential next head coach of the 48-win Cavaliers.


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