The Cleveland Cavaliers have promoted Greg Buckner to associate head coach, the team announced on Monday.
In May, Cleveland added former Lakers and Kings head coach Luke Walton to the staff, and now they have promoted Buckner.
The 45-year-old Buckner was hired as an assistant coach with the Cavaliers in September of 2020, after previously working on the staffs of the Memphis Grizzlies (2016-19) and Houston Rockets (2014-16) alongside Bickerstaff. Prior to being elevated to assistant coach with the Rockets, Buckner served three seasons as a player development coach (2011-14).
This past season, he was part of a coaching staff that helped guide Cleveland to the NBA’s fifth-best defensive rating (108.9) and doubled their win total from a season ago with a 44-38 record. The Cavaliers also allowed just 105.7 points per game, the fifth-lowest in the NBA, and held teams under 100 points on 26 occasions.
As a player, Buckner was selected with the 53rd overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks, appearing in 570 games over 10 seasons with Dallas, Philadelphia, Denver, Minnesota and Memphis. In 2008, Buckner was traded from Minnesota to Memphis as part of a deal that sent Kevin Love to the Timberwolves.