The Cleveland Cavaliers fired head coach David Blatt on Friday afternoon, after a season and a half of coaching the team, and leading them to the NBA Finals last season. The first place Cavaliers will be coached by Tyronn Lue. Blatt, now, becomes a valued head coaching candidate for teams looking to upgrade -- teams like, say, the Brooklyn Nets.
There are some immediate connections between the Nets and Blatt, in that Blatt is the former head coach of Team Russia. Meaning, you would have to think that Team Prokhorov has gotten a good look at Blatt in the past. Blatt is revered in Russia for his coaching of Team Russia, winning the FIBA Europe trophy in 2007 in a huge upset of Spain and winning the bronze at the Olympics in 2012. Current Nets wing Sergey Karasev was on that team, as was former Nets player Andrei Kirilenko.
As for NBA experience, well, Blatt coached the Cavs to the 2015 NBA Finals and currently carried a 30-11 record this season. For the first place Cavs, of course. Oh, and this, too:
David Blatt has the seventh best win percentage ever, ahead of Red Auerbach— Dan Feldman (@DanFeldmanNBA) January 22, 2016
Obviously there's no movement in the Nets looking into Blatt as the team's head coach for this season, since the news just broke on Blatt being fired, but you have to think that they'll discuss him as a candidate. Problem is that he's unlikely to be a lure for free agents, at least NBA free agents.
Another name picking up some steam is the assistant coach of the Golden State Warriors Luke Walton, who has moved back to his role now that Steve Kerr is back with the team.
Shouldn't the Nets just offer Luke Walton their coaching job . . . now?— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) January 22, 2016
As we mentioned earlier, teams will be lining up in July to woo Walton into being their head coach. And for good reason. Still, that doesn't mean the Nets situation is the right one for him.
Tom Thibodeau remains the hot name, and likely the front-runner, in getting the job of fixing the Brooklyn Nets. At least he seemed to be the front runner prior to David Blatt being fired. Will that change? Who knows. At the very least, we do know that there will likely be a conversation, somewhere in Russia, about whether or not Blatt is the guy who can turn this franchise around.