For now, the Cavaliers' interest appears to be in the fact-finding phase, but some league personnel believe it's just a matter of time until Sampson becomes a legitimate head coaching candidate in the NBA. The Los Angeles Clippers also have shown some interest in Sampson for their coaching vacancy, league sources said.
Sampson is a favorite of San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and GM R.C. Buford, both close confidants of Ferry. Popovich coached on Team USA with Sampson in the 2002 World Championships and has stayed close with him. After Sampson's firing for NCAA violations at Indiana in 2008, the Spurs staff brought him to San Antonio to spend the rest of the season with the team. After an abrupt and humiliating end to his college career, the embrace of the Spurs elders started to rebrand Sampson for the pro game.