Mark Jackson and David Blatt are expected to interview with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who shifted their focus away from college coaches after swing-and-miss runs at Florida’s Billy Donovan and Kentucky’s John Calipari.
Mike Brown was fired by the team for a second time and general manager David Griffin was reportedly focused on Chicago Bulls assistant coach Adrian Griffin. But the Cavaliers’ pool of candidates became deeper than expected, including Alvin Gentry, Tyronn Lue, Lionel Hollins, Vinny Del Negro, Adrian Griffin and former Cavs guard Mark Price.
Gentry is considered the favorite and was scheduled to meet with the front office a second time this week.
Jackson spent three years with the Golden State Warriors, winning 98 games the past two seasons, including 51 in 2013-14. He split from the Warriors in what became a tumultuous situation with the front office. Golden State hired Steve Kerr as Jackson’s replacement last month.
Blatt announced Thursday that he was leaving as coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel to pursue an NBA job. He led Maccabi to its first European championship this year.
The 55-year-old Blatt and Cavs general manager David Griffin have known each other for years. Blatt is expected to interview with the Cavs soon.
“I am leaving here not because I was asked to,” Blatt said in Israel. “The opposite is true, I was asked to stay, and offered the best possible conditions for such an event.
“But I just felt it is a move I wanted to make. It has been a dream of mine for almost forever to go and join a team in the NBA in some capacity. I wish I could have done it as a player. I wasn’t good enough. But now perhaps I’ll have that opportunity as a coach.”
The New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves are known to be interested in Blatt as an assistant.
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