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Cleveland Cavaliers promote Greg Buckner to associate head coach

Buckner has been with the team since 2020.

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Cleveland Cavaliers are promoting Greg Buckner from assistant coach to associate head coach under J.B. Bickerstaff.

Buckner, 45, has been with Cleveland since 2020 and previously worked with Bickerstaff in Memphis. He is perhaps best known to Cavs for taking over for Bickerstaff in game last season and earning a coaching win.

As Wojnarowski noted, Buckner was a key part of the Cavs’ staff last year as the team improved and Cleveland’s defense became one of the league’s best.

He is also another Cavs associate head coach. Before he became head coach, Bickertaff was hired as John Beileon’s associate head coach. And back before he was head coach and won a title, Tyronn Lue was David Blatt’s associate head coach. This is not to say Buckner is on the path to replace Bickerstaff, but to note that it’s a role the organization seems to like and is willing to pay for.

The Cavs have not officially announced Buckner’s promotion.