Cavaliers to interview Nuggets assistant David Adelman, 6th candidate contacted, AP source says

CLEVELAND (AP) — With their list of coaching candidates growing, the Cleveland Cavaliers received permission Tuesday to interview Denver assistant David Adelman, a person familiar with the team's search told The Associated Press.

Adelman, the son of longtime NBA coach Rick Adelman, is the sixth known candidate contacted by the Cavs.

Cleveland could further expand its search in the coming days, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team is not commenting while looking for J.B. Bickerstaff's successor.

ESPN was first to report Cleveland's connection with Adelman.

The Cavs fired Bickerstaff last month after they were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by Boston. Bickerstaff's teams improved each year and this season he was saddled with numerous injuries.

The 43-year-old Adelman is coach Michael Malone’s top assistant with the Nuggets, who won the title last season. He's also worked with Minnesota (five years) and Orlando (one year) before joining Denver in 2017.

Adelman also interviewed with the Los Angeles Lakers for their vacancy.

It's not yet known if the Cavs have formally interviewed any of the candidates they've contacted so far.

Cavs president of basketball operations Koby Altman stressed he and his staff will be diligent in finding the next coach. The team believes it's close to contending for a title.

Cleveland has already gotten permission to speak with Golden State's Kenny Atkinson, New Orleans assistant James Borrego, New York Knicks assistant Johnnie Bryant, Miami assistant Chris Quinn and Timberwolves assistant Micah Nori.

Bickerstaff guided the Cavs back to the playoffs last year — All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell's arrival in a trade helped — for the first time since 2018, but a first-round flameout against the Knicks raised questions about his future.

Still, the Cavs were among the East's top teams this season amid injuries to Mitchell, guard Darius Garland and forward Evan Mobley. Cleveland then lost center Jarrett Allen in the playoffs with a broken rib.

Bickerstaff said in an interview that he has no regrets about his four-plus seasons with Cleveland.

“I'm sure every organization, from where we started, would sign up for what we were able to accomplish. Individual players got better, the team got better,” Bickerstaff told SiriusXM. "We created a culture, we created an environment of winning and held ourselves to a high standard. So I’m proud of what we did.

“I know a lot of people around the league who were looking in.”