FRIDAY, 12:54pm: The Cavs haven’t asked Florida athletics director Jeremy Foley for permission to speak with Donovan, as Foley tells the Plain Dealer (Twitter link).
THURSDAY, 4:43pm: The Cavaliers spoke to Billy Donovan about their head coaching vacancy, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, who notes that the team has also gauged interest in Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg. Donovan said today that he’d had contact with a couple of NBA teams, and previous reports indicated that the Wolves were the other. Still, the University of Florida coach all but ruled out a jump to the NBA for next season.
The team is researching Lionel Hollins, George Karl and Alvin Gentry, among other NBA coaching veterans, according to Windhorst, but today’s news is another signal that Cleveland is focusing on college coaches. The Cavs have nonetheless reportedly asked the Clippers for permission to speak with Gentry, who serves as an assistant coach for L.A.
Izzo came close to taking the Cavs coaching job in 2010, but he’s otherwise downplayed interest in NBA jobs. He left wiggle room in his latest comments dismissing the notion of coaching in the pros, and rumors have persisted. The Wolves were apparently waiting on an answer from him regarding their opening until they heard from Izzo on Tuesday, when the team’s attention turned toward Dave Joerger.
Much of the chatter surrounding Hoiberg has come in connection to the Wolves, too, but the Knicks have had him on their radar, and he was among the strongest candidates for the Warriors job before it went to Steve Kerr. The Bulls also reportedly view Hoiberg as a potential replacement for Tom Thibodeau. Iowa State recently gave the coach a raise worth $600K annually to bring his salaries to $2.6MM.