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Cavaliers will interview Timberwolves assistant Micah Nori for head coaching vacancy, AP source says

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cavaliers will interview Timberwolves assistant Micah Nori for their head coaching vacancy — the fifth known candidate in Cleveland’s search — in the coming days, a person familiar with the meeting told The Associated Press on Monday.

Nori was a longtime NBA assistant who took on bench duties during the playoffs when Minnesota coach Chris Finch suffered a knee injury and limited mobility.

Nori joins a list of candidates in Cleveland that will continue to grow, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team does not comment during the search for J.B. Bickerstaff’s replacement.

ESPN.com was first to report the Cavs’ interest in Nori.

Bickerstaff was fired a week after the Cavs’ postseason ended with a second-round loss to Boston. The Cavs respected the work Bickerstaff did, but feel a new voice is needed to move the team forward.

Cleveland improved each season under Bickerstaff, and the Cavs were among the Eastern Conference’s top teams all season despite numerous injuries. They won a seven-game series against Orlando in the first round.

Nori has been on Minnesota’s staff since 2021. He has also worked with Toronto, Sacramento, Denver and Detroit.

Nori, 40, is originally from Ohio.

Last week, the Cavs opened their search by receiving permission to speak with Golden State assistant Kenny Atkinson, New Orleans assistant James Borrego, New York assistant Johnnie Bryant and Miami assistant Chris Quinn.

Both Atkinson and Borrego are former head coaches. Bryant is an interesting prospect because of his relationship with Cavs All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell, who will be eligible for a long-term contract extension with Cleveland this summer.

Bryant and Mitchell worked together in Utah.

Cavs president of basketball operations Koby Altman emphasized that the team would be methodical in finding a new coach. Ideally, he would like to have the coach in place for the NBA draft on June 26, but he hinted that could take longer.