J.B. Bickerstaff took over for John Beilein as Cavaliers coach after the All-Star break but he’s not a short-term replacement, he told Marc Spears of The Undefeated

Bickerstaff has received assurances from the front office he’ll receive a new contract. “To my knowledge, at some point in time we will negotiate a long-term deal,” Bickerstaff said. “But this wasn’t an interim thing. This was a conversation that (GM) Koby (Altman) and I had. And he said, ‘You’re the head coach moving forward.’ So, the plan is I will be back next season with a long-term deal.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Second-year Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton admitted that Beilein’s departure served as a wakeup call for himself and his teammates, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer relays. Sexton asked himself some hard questions after the team made another coaching change. “Was I as coachable as I could have been? Could I have been more coachable? Could I have received information and criticism better? Let me step back and survey,” Sexton said. “’Was I as good of a player to coach when he was here?’ Had to just look myself in the mirror and ask myself those things.”
  • Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr. is hopeful he can return to action as early as Saturday, according to Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago. He hasn’t played since January 6 due to an ankle injury. “It’s going to be a little bit weak but continuing to play, continuing to put more stress on it is going to make it stronger,” said Carter, who will be on a minutes restriction when he returns.
  • Pistons guard Bruce Brown has established himself as a defensive stopper and increased his rebounding totals since Andre Drummond was traded but there’s still one glaring area of improvement, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com notes. Brown is shooting 44.3% overall and 33.7% on 3-point tries, which is an upgrade from his rookie year but is still a work in progress. “Bruce has improved in a lot of areas,” coach Dwane Casey said. “Shooting has been the last one to come around and I do know that will come around.”





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