Damian Cotter

Central Notes: LeVert, Cavaliers, Bulls, Pacers, Westbrook

Cavaliers guard Caris LeVert hopes to sign a contract extension and remain with the team long-term, Kelsey Russo of The Athletic tweets. LeVert, who was acquired by Cleveland in February, averaged 13.6 points on 43.5% shooting in his 19 games with his new club.

“Yeah, this is where I want to be. They know that,” LeVert said. “The front office knows that, my teammates know that. So I don’t know what’s gonna happen with that contract extension, but I know where my heart is.”

LeVert, who was born in Columbus, Ohio, is set to earn $18.8MM next season in the final year of his current deal, and will be extension-eligible this summer. The 27-year-old averaged a career-high 20.2 points with Brooklyn and Indiana in 2020/21, shooting 44% from the floor and 33% from three-point range.

There’s more from the Central Division today:

Bulls Name Coaching Staff Under Billy Donovan

The Bulls have added assistant coaches Maurice Cheeks, Josh Longstaff, John Bryant, Damian Cotter and Billy Schmidt to serve under recently hired head coach Billy Donovan, the team announced Saturday.

Chicago has also brought on Henry Domercant, Ronnie Burrell, Ty Abbott and Max Rothschild as player development coordinators.

Cheeks is the biggest name of the bunch to join the Bulls’ staff. The former 15-year NBA veteran most recently served under Donovan for five seasons with the Thunder in his second stint with the organization. A native of Chicago, Cheeks not only gets to reunite with Donovan after working closely for half of the past decade but he gets to return home.

In addition to a stellar playing career, the four-time All-Star brings a wealth of coaching experience as he was the head coach for the Blazers (2001-05), Sixers (2005-08) and Pistons (2013-14). In addition to his first Thunder tenure, Cheeks has also been an assistant coach with the Sixers.

Longstaff, 38, joins the Bulls after spending the previous two campaigns under Mike Budenholzer with the Bucks. The Maine native brings a strong coaching resume in his own right, which includes assistant coaching stops with the Thunder and Knicks. Longstaff also has G League head coaching experience with the Erie Bayhawks from 2017-18.

As for Bryant, Cotter and Schmidt, they bring varying degrees of experience of coaching within basketball. Bryant joins the Bulls after spending four years with the Sixers, two of those in an assistant coach capacity. Cotter has been an assistant coach in the G League with several organizations and Schmidt has most notably served as Thunder as a director of quality control the past five seasons.

Chris Fleming is the lone holdover from last year’s staff who remains with the club in an assistant coaching capacity.