FRIDAY, 12:18pm: The Cavs and Warriors are the only teams left in the race for Blatt, a source tells Marc Stein of ESPN.com. That means the Timberwolves and Hawks are no longer in the mix.
THURSDAY, 1:22pm: Blatt will interview with the Cavs next week, a source tells the Plain Dealer (Twitter link). Blatt said he interviewed earlier by phone, so presumably next week’s interview will be the first face-to-face meeting. That probably doesn’t quite put him on equal footing with Lue and Gentry, both of whom are set for their second sit-downs with the Cavs.
12:35pm: Blatt says he hasn’t received an offer from the Cavs, Sinai tweets.
12:28pm: Blatt indeed announced that he’s leaving Maccabi Tel Aviv, and said that he’ll intensify talks with NBA teams, as Sinai relays via Twitter.
12:07pm: The Timberwolves are still contenders for Blatt, but he’s mostly focused on the Cavs and Warriors, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).
11:32am: The Hawks are also vying for Blatt as an assistant coach, Sinai reports.
11:20am: Blatt will say that he’s headed to the NBA today, but he won’t say where, Pick hears, advancing Sinai’s report from earlier (Twitter link).
11:14am: The announcement that Blatt is set to make today doesn’t have to do with the Cavs, reports Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link). That doesn’t necessarily rule him out as a head coaching candidate for Cleveland, as Sinai tweets that it’s unclear if Blatt will identify a specific job that he’s taking or merely state his intention to go to the NBA, but it seems to cast doubt on the idea he’ll end up with the Cavs.
11:02am: The Cavaliers have interviewed Israeli league coach David Blatt for their head coaching vacancy, as Blatt tells David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link). Blatt said he interviewed by phone and will speak with GM David Griffin again soon, according to Pick. The news comes in advance of a press conference today in which Blatt will announce that he’s leaving Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv for the NBA, as Allon Sinai of The Jerusalem Post tweets. It’s unclear whether Blatt is headed stateside for the Cavs job or for assistant coaching positions with the Warriors and Timberwolves, gigs for which he’s also rumored to be a candidate.
The Cavs had reportedly been in contact with Blatt as of last week, but it appeared then that the conversation hadn’t yet amount to an interview. Blatt says he’s received “real offers” from the NBA, Sinai reports (on Twitter), though it seems as though he may be in line for a consulting job, either on top of or instead of a coaching position, according to Pick (Twitter link). Pick dismisses the notion of Blatt heading to Minnesota (Twitter link), in spite of an earlier report that suggested he would be Flip Saunders‘ first choice as a head-coach-in-waiting who could take over the head coaching duties from Saunders in a year or two.
Blatt told Pick today that an earlier report suggesting that he’d only come to the NBA for a head coaching job was inaccurate (Twitter link), and the Warriors are “quietly confident” that they’ll end up with him, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Still, if he were to become an NBA head coach, it would represent a groundbreaking jump from European basketball. He’s one of several seemingly in the mix for the Cavs head coaching job. Mark Price, Alvin Gentry, Adrian Griffin, Tyronn Lue, Vinny Del Negro and Lionel Hollins have all reportedly garnered interviews. The Cavs have asked Lue and Gentry back for second interviews, while Nate McMillan and Mark Jackson have also apparently emerged as candidates, too.