Cavaliers hire Mike Longabardi as assistant coach for defense

The Cleveland Cavaliers are adding veteran assistant Mike Longabardi to new head coach Tyronn Lue's staff, sources told ESPN.com.

Longabardi is expected to take over the defensive specialist role that Lue held before he was promoted to replace David Blatt last week.

Lue and Longabardi worked together on Doc Rivers' staff with the Boston Celtics.

The respected Longabardi was let go by the Phoenix Suns last month, as part of a rare midseason bench shake-up under coach Jeff Hornacek. Known for his defensive acumen, Longabardi was the Suns' defensive coordinator.

The Cavs, who lost their first game under Lue on Saturday against the Chicago Bulls, host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday.