Euroleague icon David Blatt has reached agreement on a four-year deal that could be worth as much as $20 million to become head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Blatt, 55, is the first coach to make the leap from Europe to the NBA as a head coach. The Cavaliers announced Friday night they will formally introduce Blatt at a news conference on Wednesday.
Gilbert and general manager David Griffin huddled on Thursday and zeroed in on a decision to choose Blatt over Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Tyronn Lue. The Cavaliers had been extremely fond of Lue and considered him a potential coaching star in the NBA, sources said.
Cleveland was under pressure to make a decision on Thursday because Blatt was prepared to accept an assistant coaching job under Steve Kerr with the Golden State Warriors.
One of the most successful European coaches of this era, Blatt resigned from his job as the championship coach of Maccabi Tel-Aviv to pursue his longtime goal of coaching in the NBA.
Blatt was born and raised in Massachusetts, playing his college basketball for Hall of Famer Pete Carill at Princeton before embarking on a hugely successful head coaching career overseas.
Blatt coached undermanned Macabbi Tel Aviv to a dramatic upset victory over Real Madrid in the Euroleague championships. Blatt has had tremendous success across two decades overseas, winning the 2007 Eurobasket championship with Russia, and a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics.