Report: David Blatt near deal to return to Europe

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt is close to completing a deal to return to Europe and coach the Turkish club Darussafaka, according to a report out of Israel.

Priority Sports, which represents Blatt, declined comment when reached by ESPN on Tuesday.

European basketball reporter David Pick reported earlier Tuesday that Blatt is finalizing a multiyear contract with Darussafaka worth $1.7 million to $2 million per season.

Blatt also interviewed for NBA vacancies in New York, Sacramento and Houston. The Knicks, who are expected to announce the hiring of Jeff Hornacek as their next head coach this week, seriously considered Blatt for their job, sources say.

Blatt, one of the most successful coaches in European basketball history, also drew interest from several overseas clubs other than Darussafaka, according to sources.

Blatt guided Cleveland to the NBA Finals last year but was abruptly fired in January. The Cavs were 30-11 at the time; no coach in league history had been dismissed in-season with a higher winning percentage than Blatt's .732. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Blatt was the first head coach since conferences began in 1970-71 to be fired when his team has the best record in its conference.

Blatt, 57, had hoped to return to the NBA next season, but his return to Europe wouldn't be a surprise. He won multiple championships in his 21 years of coaching before joining the Cavaliers. In the spring of 2014, before joining Cleveland, Blatt led Maccabi Tel Aviv to a Euroleague championship.

ESPN's Marc Stein and Ian Begley contributed to this report.