September 19, 2014

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David Blatt, successful Euroleague coach, meets with Cavs

David Blatt

David Blatt

David Blatt was in town interviewing for the Cavaliers’ vacant head coaching position Wednesday, and it appears the search for Mike Brown’s replacement might be over soon.

Blatt, 55, previously spoke at length with Cavs general manager David Griffin over the phone. He is seen by some as the leading candidate to replace Brown, who was fired May 12 after going 33-49 in the first — and only — season of his second stint with the team.

Blatt, who grew up in the Boston area and played for the legendary Pete Carril at Princeton, has spent the last 21 years coaching overseas. He led Maccabi Tel Aviv to Israel League and Euroleague championships in 2013-14.

Blatt resigned last week as Maccabi coach, saying he wanted to pursue his dream of coaching in the NBA. He has drawn strong interest from Golden State as an assistant, but is believed to be in serious contention — and maybe even the favorite — to be Cleveland’s head man.

If Blatt’s previous phone conversation with Griffin is considered an interview, he joins Los Angeles Clippers assistants Alvin Gentry, 59, and Tyronn Lue, 37, as the only people known to have received a second interview with the Cavs.

David Griffin has also interviewed Adrian Griffin, Vinny Del Negro, Lionel Hollins and Mark Price as he searches for the man who will be the Cavs’ third coach in three seasons.

Also Wednesday, Kansas shooting guard Andrew Wiggins worked out for the Cavs.

Jayhawks teammate Joel Embiid had his workout — and a thorough physical after missing games due to a stress fracture in his back as a Kansas freshman — last week, while Duke small forward Jabari Parker is scheduled to be in town Friday.

The 7-foot, 240-pound Embiid is considered the favorite to be taken by the Cavs with the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, which will be held a week from tonight, but Wiggins and Parker are also in the mix.

In other news, Steve Hetzel, the former coach of the Canton Charge, the Cavs’ NBA Developmental League affiliate, accepted an assistant coaching position with the Charlotte Hornets.

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @RickNoland.

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