And then there were two. Having spent the majority of the last six weeks interviewing and deliberating over potential head coaching candidates, the Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly choosing between their final two men: Los Angeles Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue and former Maccabi Tel Aviv head coach David Blatt.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reports that not only are these two candidates the final two, but that the team is expected to make a decision soon in anticipation of the June 26 NBA Draft.
Former Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry was long believed to be the frontrunner for the job due to his experience and relationship with Cavs GM David Griffin. Lue and Blatt represent wild cards in that neither have previous NBA head coaching experience, but both come highly recommended by peers throughout the league. Blatt, however, was recently advised to not take the Cleveland job but instead become a well-compensated assistant under Steve Kerr in Golden State. Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reports that as recent as the last three hours, the Cavs were still doing their due diligence on the 55-year-old Blatt.
Whomever is ultimately hired will represent the third Cavs head coach in three seasons. It is expected that, following the NBA Draft, they will meet with All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to discuss the future of the franchise. Windhorst reports that the Cavs are believed to be drawn to Lue because of the way he’s been able to connect and develop young players. The Cavs can offer Irving a contract extension on July 1.