Luke Walton joins Cleveland Cavaliers as assistant

The Cleveland Cavaliers are hiring Luke Walton as an assistant coach.

Walton joins coach J.B. Bickerstaff’s staff after spending the past five-plus seasons as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings.

Walton — who played parts of his final two seasons as a player with the Cavaliers a decade ago — brings significant championship coaching and playing experience to a Cavaliers franchise on the rise in the Eastern Conference.

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“We are very excited to add someone of Luke’s caliber and championship DNA to our coaching staff,” president of basketball operations Koby Altman stated in a statement.

“His on-court experiences as a head coach, assistant coach and player in this league fit seamlessly into J.B.’s existing coaching staff. Luke is someone who truly embraces player development, a team-first mentality, and a history of creating winning basketball habits. We welcome Luke, his wife Bre and the entire Walton family back to Northeast Ohio.”

Under Bickerstaff, the Cavaliers made a dramatic rise in the conference into the play-in tournament.

The Cavaliers’ young core — including All-Star guard Darius Garland, All-Rookie forward/center Evan Mobley and the burgeoning 7-footer Jarrett Allen — are expected to make Cleveland a contender to move into the conference’s elite next campaign.

Walton, who was dismissed in November after a 6-11 start with the Kings, was part of an NBA championship coaching staff with Golden State under Steve Kerr in 2015. He won two titles — 2009 and 2010 — as a member of the Lakers.

Bickerstaff signed a long-term extension as the Cavaliers’ coach in December.

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