Cavaliers promote assistant Buckner to associate head coach

FILE - Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach Greg Buckner gives directions to players during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls, Wednesday, April 21, 2021, in Cleveland. Bucker has been promoted to associate head coach under J.B. Bickerstaff, the team announced Monday, June 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cavaliers assistant Greg Buckner has been promoted to associate head coach under J.B. Bickerstaff.

The team announced the promotion Monday.

Buckner has spent the past two seasons with Cleveland, helping Bickerstaff develop one of the NBA’s youngest teams. The Cavs doubled their win total this past season, making a 22-game jump and getting into the play-in game despite numerous injuries.

Cleveland’s biggest improvement came on defense as the Cavs finished fifth in points allowed (105.7).

Buckner previously worked with Bickerstaff in Memphis and Houston.

Drafted by Dallas in the second round in 1998, Buckner played 10 seasons in the NBA with the Mavericks, Dallas, Philadelphia, Denver, Minnesota and Memphis.

In 2008, Buckner was part of the trade that sent Cavaliers forward Kevin Love to the Timberwolves.

Buckner played college ball at Clemson, where he led the Tigers in scoring four straight seasons and three NCAA Tournament appearances.