Even though his record as a head coach isn’t great, Walton’s experience could be helpful in Cleveland as the Cavs are looking to climb back into contention in the Eastern Conference. In addition to winning a ring with the Warriors as an assistant in 2015, he also won two titles with the Lakers as a player, and thus is familiar with what it takes to win at the highest level, both as a coach and a player.
All three of those players are under 24 years old, so the expectation is that they’ll only continue to improve, and thus the organization’s outlook is an optimistic one. Now, Walton and the rest of the team’s assistants will be expected to help Bickerstaff take the Cavs to the next level.
Walton has a lot of expertise in the coaching field. From 2014 to 2016, he worked as an assistant for the Golden State Warriors, where he won a championship in 2015. From 2016 to 2019, he was the Los Angeles Lakers’ head coach, and from 2019 to 2021, he was the Sacramento Kings’ head coach. In November, the Kings ordered his dismissal.
Though the Cavaliers ultimately missed the playoffs this season after losing in the play-in tournament, the team is still clearly headed in the right direction as they finished the season with a winning record (44-38) for the first time since the 2017-18 season — LeBron James’ final campaign in Cleveland. Plus, guard Darius Garland was named to his first (and very likely not his last) All-Star team, as was center Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley finished second in Rookie of the Year voting after an extremely promising rookie campaign.