David Blatt might have just had an ugly split with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be without a job for long.
Blatt received his walking papers from the Cavaliers Friday despite the team sitting in first place in the Eastern Conference at 30-11, according to ESPN.com. The Cavaliers have their reasons, but plenty of teams—such as the Brooklyn Nets—won’t allow Blatt to wade in the unemployment pool for long.
Steve Kyler of BasketballInsiders.com revealed the Nets have already poked around the idea of bringing Blatt on board:
Seems like former Cavs coach David Blatt won’t be out of a job very long – hearing he’s drawn interest from the Nets already.
— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) January 23, 2016
Why not? The lone issue with Blatt in Cleveland was his apparent mesh with James. He didn’t get the young core he thought the Cavaliers would give him when he signed on for the gig and on the court had to watch as players very publicly waved off his plays.
So why not start over somewhere looking to rebuild? The Nets sit 14th in the conference at 11-33 in a full-blown rebuild mode after firing former coach Lionel Hollins and reassigning general manager Billy King.
There’s a long rebuilding road in place, so it’s not hard to see why bringing on a guy like Blatt to mold the roster to his liking would crop up within the organization. The roster has to find a way away from costly guys like Joe Johnson and start drafting well instead of gifting away draft picks for immediate fixes. If there’s a guy to do the job, it’s probably Blatt, someone most didn’t expect to be on the market right now. As for the coach himself, Blatt made it clear he wasn’t tucking his tail and running across the pond. ESPN.com’s Marc Stein provided some context:
Early in the process, obviously, but NBA coaching sources insist to me David Blatt is intent on coaching in this league again — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 22, 2016
Blatt himself took to the media for a statement after his firing, too, according to Priority Sports:
David Blatt was informed today that he has been fired by the Cavaliers. The following is a statement from David: pic.twitter.com/1dm2G7iWBJ
— Priority Sports (@PrioritySports) January 22, 2016
Some might love the idea of Blatt landing with the Minnesota Timberwolves, which makes sense as the team has an interesting Euro core and he would get to reunite with Andrew Wiggins. Then again, the allure to Brooklyn has to be pretty strong, especially if the retooled front office decides he can have a serious say in the roster-building element.
No matter what happens, Blatt’s name won’t leave the headlines soon. Speculation surrounding what went wrong in Cleveland and why won’t die. Neither will interest in Blatt’s services, not after he weathered the storm and got canned despite leading a conference. Some team figures to give him control of young talent and hope his blend of styles can lead to contention.
Right now, the most interested in doing so appears to be the rebuilding Nets.