According to ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst, the Cleveland Cavaliers have contacted Florida’s Billy Donovan about their head coaching job. Donovan said on Thursday that several NBA teams had contacted him about their jobs, but failed to specify which teams made contact. The Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz and Golden State Warriors all have (or, in the Warriors’ case, had) a head coaching vacancy. From the report:
The Cavs, who have been buoyed after winning the draft lottery this week, have been focusing their search on big-name college candidates in the wake of firing Mike Brown. In addition to Donovan, they have tested the interest of Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg, sources said. The Cavs also inquired about UConn’s Kevin Ollie before he signed a long-term extension to stay with the Huskies.
The team also has researched several former NBA coaches who are currently available, including Lionel Hollins and George Karl, sources said. The Cavs also reached out to the Los Angeles Clippers seeking permission to interview assistant coach Alvin Gentry, a source told The Associated Press.
This isn’t the first time Donovan has been linked to an NBA job. In 2007, Donovan actually took the Orlando Magic head coaching job after winning back-to-back titles with the likes of Timberwolves forward Corey Brewer, Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford and Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah on his roster. But after accepting a five-year, $27.5 million dollar deal, Donovan backed out and returned to the Gators. When he backed out of the Magic deal, he also reportedly agreed to not take another NBA job for five years.
Since then, Donovan has made on Final Four and two Elite Eights with the Gators. Overall, in 18 seasons at Frorida, Donovan has won two national championships.