Yesterday, Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt announced that he will leave his team to take his first ever job in the NBA. Which job he will be taking, however, remains unclear. Blatt has been linked both to the open head coaching position with the Cleveland Cavaliers, as well as to an assistant coaching job under Steve Kerr with the Golden State Warriors.
David Blatt will announce he's leaving for NBA, but still talking w/ Warriors for top assistant and Cavs for head coaching job, sources say.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 12, 2014
This likely means that Blatt would take the head coaching job with the Cavs, if it is offered. If it's not offered, then it seems like the Warriors are his backup plan.
The Cavs reportedly conducted an interview with Blatt over the phone already, and are planning a more formal in-person interview once he gets to the United States.
1. One thing made clear by Cavs is David Blatt cannot be offered HC job until he meets face to face with David Griffin. ...— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) June 12, 2014
2. Blatt's commitment today to come to US could get ball rolling. Sources say in-person interview w Cavs and Blatt likely in near future.— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) June 12, 2014
In addition to Blatt, there are at least two other candidates the team is still talking to: Tyronn Lue and Alvin Gentry. Both have reportedly been granted second interviews.
#Cavs will interview David Blatt next week, source says. Source also confirms Yahoo report of Tyronn Lue second interview Friday, and Gentry— M.S. Boyer/J. Valade (@PDcavsinsider) June 12, 2014
Hearing Cavs coaching process down to three guys -- Ty Lue, Alvin Gentry and David Blatt -- ownership will chime in on final hire.— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) June 12, 2014
So are those three guys really the final three? Well, not so fast...
Sources: Cavs contact Mark Jackson about head coaching position. No formal interview set up. Not clear how serious Cavs' interest is.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) June 12, 2014
It appears that the team is now focused in on Blatt, Lue, and Gentry, with the possibility that Mark Jackson may jump into the mix.
If these reports are true, and this really is the final group, it is a pretty diverse set of candidates. Gentry and Jackson are experienced head coaches, Lue is a former player and a current assistant, and Blatt has head coaching experience but has never had any kind of job in the NBA.
Hopefully these second round interviews, and Blatt's decision to come to the United States, at least mean that the process is nearing its end. The NBA Draft is exactly two weeks away, and it would be nice to have a coach in place before that.