Skip to content

Report: Cavaliers reach deal with David Blatt to be head coach

Jun 20, 2014, 1:35 PM EDT

David Blatt David Blatt

A lot of casual Cavaliers fans are going to say, “who?” and just shake their heads.

A lot of people around the NBA are going to nod their heads and say “good hire.”

The Cleveland Cavaliers have reached a deal to have international coaching star and innovative offensive mind David Blatt take over as head coach, reports Mary Schmitt Boyer at the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

David Blatt, who just resigned as coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv last week, has reached an agreement to become the 20th head coach of the Cavaliers, replacing Mike Brown who was fired on May 12, an NBA source told The Plain Dealer on Friday.

This will be the first NBA job for the well-respected Blatt, an American who played for Pete Carril at Princeton and has played and coached in Europe the past 33 years. He also will become the first European head coach to be picked to run an NBA team.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports add details.

It became clear this was the direction things were headed last night when Alvin Gentry agreed to take the job as Steve Kerr’s lead assistant in Golden State, the other job Blatt was considering. Blatt to Cleveland likely means Tyron Lue will stay with the Clippers and jump up a slot to lead assistant (Gentry’s old slot) next to Doc Rivers.

Blatt just led Maccabi Tel Aviv to a surprise EuroLeague title and before that coached Russia to a bronze medal at the London Olympics. However he was on the radar of NBA teams before that as a future NBA coach in large part thanks to what is seen as an innovative offense. He is an outside the box thinker.

A few may say, “this hurts the Cavaliers chances of getting LeBron James to come back this summer.” No, because that was not going to happen anyway. It’s like saying me not shaving today hurts my chance of a date with Kate Upton tonight. Besides, LeBron studies and knows the game, if he sees and offense where players share the ball, move off the ball and are unselfish he might think “I just got beat by an offense like that, I should consider it.”

The biggest challenge for Blatt is getting the players to buy in — in Europe (more like college ball) the coach has the power. There are also fewer games and more practices. The NBA it’s the elite players who have the power and the best coaches get those players to buy in. Blatt may well have that skill — and Kyrie Irving will love his offense (if he’s willing to move the ball to get it back).

Former Cav Anthony Parker, now an Orlando scout, played for Blatt in Israel and often cited him as his favorite coach, calling him one of the top basketball coaches in the world.

Latest Posts
  1. Mavericks sign Ivan Johnson

    Jul 29, 2014, 5:37 PM EDT

    Dallas Mavericks v Atlanta Hawks Dallas Mavericks v Atlanta Hawks

    Johnson gets NBA contract after eventful summer league

  2. Report: Timberwolves told Kevin Love to sit out the World Cup

    Jul 29, 2014, 4:55 PM EDT

    Kevin Love Kevin Love

    I’m not sure Love is taking advice from Minnesota right now

  3. Derrick Rose told Carmelo Anthony that if he came to Chicago “the game would be easy”

    Jul 29, 2014, 3:24 PM EDT

    2014 USA Basketball Men's National Team Practice Getty Images

    Rose said he was disappointed but he understands ‘Melo’s decision.

  4. LeBron James strips on stage, throws clothes into crowd (video)

    Jul 29, 2014, 2:22 PM EDT

    LeBron James LeBron James

    Want to see LeBron strip down to his underwear?

  5. Steve Nash: ‘I think this is my last season’

    Jul 29, 2014, 1:44 PM EDT

    Steve Nash, Meta World Peace Steve Nash, Meta World Peace

    Lakers guard confirms he’s planning on retirement

  6. PBT Extra: Is this the end of Donald Sterling as NBA owner?

    Jul 29, 2014, 1:11 PM EDT

    Donald Sterling, V. Stiviano Donald Sterling, V. Stiviano

    Donald Sterling isn’t going away, but he’s pretty much done as the Clippers owner now.

  7. Grizzlies name general manager Chris Wallace general manager

    Jul 29, 2014, 12:28 PM EDT

    Yes, you read that headline correctly

  8. Is DeMarcus Cousins the big man Team USA can lean on?

    Jul 29, 2014, 12:22 PM EDT

    DeMarcus Cousins AP

    The question with Cousins is never talent, but his maturity seems to be there.

  9. Report: Gary Payton assistant-coaching candidate with Lakers, Bucks

    Jul 29, 2014, 11:44 AM EDT

    Gary Payton #20 Gary Payton #20

    Jason Kidd or Byron Scott could hire former Seattle SuperSonic

  10. Kyrie Irving’s contract actually falls short of max

    Jul 29, 2014, 11:11 AM EDT

    Kyrie Irving Kyrie Irving

    Irving wouldn’t get full 30 percent of adjusted salary cap by triggering Derrick Rose rule

  11. Report: Hawks draft pick ‘very likely’ to play in Spain next season

    Jul 29, 2014, 10:33 AM EDT

    Walter Travares, Walter Travares,

    Atlanta selected 7-foot-3 center No. 43 in 2014 NBA draft

  12. Blake Griffin backflips into sea before withdrawing from Team USA with reported back injury (video)

    Jul 29, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Six Getty Images

    Previous report said Griffin fractured back during Clippers’ playoff run, which ended before backflip video was posted

  13. Serge Ibaka still not 100 percent after unexpected playoff comeback

    Jul 29, 2014, 9:22 AM EDT

    San Antonio Spurs v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Three Getty Images

    Thunder forward says he’s improving, but ‘it’s going to take time’

  14. Report: Grizzlies hire Ed Stefanski for front office

    Jul 29, 2014, 8:45 AM EDT

    Evan Turner Press Conference Evan Turner Press Conference

    Former 76ers and Nets general manager now Memphis’ executive vice president of player personnel

  15. NBA Players union elects first female executive director in Michele Roberts

    Jul 29, 2014, 1:32 AM EDT

    Derek Fisher

    It wasn’t pretty getting there, but the union has a leader again.

  16. Kyrie Irving’s world looks pretty good right now

    Jul 29, 2014, 12:30 AM EDT

    2014 USA Basketball Men's National Team Practice Getty Images

    It’s been a good summer to be Kyrie Irving. Really good.

Featured video

Why can't Lakers have a player-coach?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. T. Warren (4774)
  2. L. James (4508)
  3. K. Love (4179)
  4. J. Nelson (3582)
  5. R. Allen (3491)
  1. D. Rose (3375)
  2. C. Anthony (3006)
  3. K. Bryant (2924)
  4. A. Wiggins (2319)
  5. A. Aminu (2235)