Former Sacramento Kings’ head coach Luke Walton will make his return to coaching in the NBA, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi shared on Monday morning. After making his exit from Sacramento in November, it was announced that Walton will join JB Bickerstaff’s staff with the Cleveland Cavaliers as an assistant coach.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are hiring Luke Walton as an assistant coach, sources tell ESPN. Walton joins JB Bickerstaff's coaching staff after spending five-plus years as head coach of the Lakers and Kings. Walton spent his final two seasons as a player with Cleveland a decade ago.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 31, 2022
It was question mark whether Walton would return to the NBA stage in 2022-23, but the Cavaliers make sense as a landing spot, considering he played his final two seasons in a Cleveland jersey. After spending time with the Golden State Warriors following his departure from Sacramento earlier this season, Walton will join Bickerstaff’s roster of budding young talent, featuring Darius Garland and Evan Mobley.
Perhaps assistant coaching is where Walton’s role is best served. With losing records as the head coach for both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Kings, joining a new division and altogether conference without the weight of holding the clipboard can bring him the success he once found as an assistant to the 2015 championship Warriors.
Bickerstaff recently signed a 5-year extension with Cleveland, so Walton’s return to the sidelines feels like a permanent decision until inevitably another team cycles him through the interview process and he lands a new job elsewhere.
It didn’t work in the Kingdom as the overlap of former GM Vlade Divac and current GM Monte McNair were a recipe for overhaul, but Walton never found his footing as a head coach here. Funnily enough, his former colleague Mike Brown will take the helm of the Sacramento following his NBA Finals run in San Francisco.