The Cleveland Cavaliers have offered their head-coaching job to longtime European coach David Blatt and the two sides are in contract talks, sources confirmed to ESPN.com on Thursday.
Blatt met with Cavs officials and team owner Dan Gilbert over the past two days and was offered the job on Thursday night. Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Tyronn Lue was the other finalist for the job, sources said, after a protracted search to replace Mike Brown that lasted six weeks and included numerous candidates.
Blatt, 55, will be coming to the NBA after a long and successful 20-year coaching career in Europe that included stops in Israel, Greece, Russia and Turkey. He led Maccabi Tel Aviv to the Euroleague championship this season. In 2012, he coached the Russian national team to the bronze medal at the Summer Olympics in London.
A former player under legendary coach Pete Carril at Princeton, Blatt typically runs the Princeton-style offense with his teams.
He has a long relationship with many NBA executives, including Cavaliers general manager David Griffin. Had the Cavs not offered Blatt their job, Steve Kerr was ready to hire him to be his lead assistant at Golden State.
The Cavs have missed the playoffs in each of the past four seasons. If he takes the job, Blatt will be their third head coach in the past three years.