According to Allon Sinai of the Jerusalem Post in Israel, Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt is leaving the team and will announce today that he is leaving for the NBA. Blatt recently led Maccabi to the Euroleague title by defeating CSKA Moscow in the semifinals and Real Madrid in the finals. Blatt, 55, has been Maccabi’s head coach since 2010. He also coached the Russian Basketball Team at the 2012 Olympics in Lonodon.
This is important for the Cleveland Cavaliers for one reason: The Cavs are the only NBA team that Blatt has been linked to for a head coaching job. Steve Kerr, the new head coach of the Golden State Warriors, reportedly wants Blatt on his staff as a lead assistant and met with him last week when Blatt was unexpectedly in America when his father died. Blatt has also been linked the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he would serve as an assistant under Flip Saunders.
But here’s the catch: Blatt told a TV station in Israel yesterday that he won’t come to the NBA for a mere assistant job. The Cavaliers, along with the Los Angeles Lakers, are the only teams left with a head coaching job still open. The Lakers have not knowingly courted Blatt for their head coaching job or any other position within the organization.
There’s also another catch here: According to David Pick of Eurobasket, Blatt never said he wouldn’t come to an NBA for an assistant job. Also according to Pick, Blatt seems to be on his way to some sort of consultant job stateside and it won’t be with the Timberwolves and according to The Plain Dealer, it isn’t the Cavs.
Basically, here is what he know for certain: Blatt is leaving Maccabi and is coming stateside. There will be a press conference in two hours announcing his departure and that may shed some light on his future.
Blatt is officially leaving Maccabi Tel Aviv. At the press conference announcing his departure, Blatt said he does not know where he will end up next season, but his future will be decided soon. And according Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Blatt is “mostly focused” on Golden State and Cleveland.
This article was updated at 12:22 p.m. on Thursday June 12, 2014 to reflect an update from the Plain Dealer indicating that Blatt likely is not coming to the Cavaliers.