While it’s not uncommon that teams make coaching staff changes, the Cleveland Cavaliers waited a couple weeks after their season ending to officially make those changes.
Assistant coach Jim Boylan and player development coach Phil Handy’s contracts will not be renewed by the organization according to Dave McMenamin and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
Last week, the team’s big man coach and former Cavalier Vitaly Potapenko left Cleveland to join the coaching staff of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Handy had been with the Cavaliers since 2013 and had a part in the development of Kyrie Irving during Irving’s tenure in Cleveland. Handy also was a development coach with the Lakers from 2011-2013. Marc Spears of ESPN reported that Handy was already getting interest from teams.
Boylan has been a basketball coach for 35 years after a brief playing career overseas. This was his second stint with the Cavaliers as he was a scout for the team from 1992 to 1997. He also was an assistant coach in Cleveland with Handy since 2013.
Both were part of Ty Lue’s staff that was part of history in winning Cleveland’s first professional sports championship since 1964 and also became the first NBA team to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals when the Cavaliers beat the Warriors in 7 games.
With the departures of Potapenko, Handy and Boylan, this leaves Larry Drew, James Posey and Mike Longabardi as the assistants left on Lue’s staff.
The team will reportedly elevate former NBA player Damon Jones and Dan Geriot as assistants. Geriot was a player development coach last season and will now become a full-time assistant.
Jones has been with the Cavaliers since 2014, starting out as a shooting consultant. He served as an assistant coach for the Canton Charge during the 2015-16 season and then joined Lue’s staff for the 2016 playoffs. He infamously was the victim of J.R. Smith’s thrown soup in March. He also spent three seasons with the Cavaliers as a player from 2005-2008.