CLEVELAND— Cavaliers player development coach Vitaly Potapenko is leaving Cleveland and joining the Memphis Grizzlies coaching staff.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news of Potapenko’s departure:
Vitaly Potapenko is joining the Memphis Grizzlies coaching staff, league sources tell ESPN. He leaves Cleveland, where he has worked in player development since 2013.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 12, 2018
Potapenko has been with the Cavs since the 2013 season. He is a former NBA center who played with Cleveland, the Boston Celtics, the Seattle SuperSonics and the Sacramento Kings.
Potapenko spent a large chunk of time in the 2017-18 season working one-on-one with Ante Zizic and furthering his development. Zizic went from being clearly unprepared for the NBA to being able to contribute by March, and Potapenko was a large part of that.
While the loss of Potapenko isn’t catastrophic for the Cavs’ coaching staff, they will have to do some work to replace him.