CLEVELAND — David Blatt went overseas to chase his basketball dreams. He’s coming back to fulfill them.
One of Europe’s top coaches, Blatt was hired Friday by the Cavaliers, who ended a sweeping, 39-day search with an out-of-the-box selection they hope changes their fortunes.
American-born, Princeton-schooled and considered one of the game’s brightest offensive minds, the 55-year-old Blatt has long been interested in coaching in the NBA and the Cavs will give him his first shot.
The club signed him to a three-year deal that includes a team option for a fourth year and could be worth $20 million. Cleveland contacted high-profile college coaches and interviewed both retreaded head coaches and on-the-rise assistants before zeroing in and landing Blatt, who won several European titles while coaching in Israel and guided Russia to a bronze medal at the London Olympics two years ago.
Blatt will be introduced by the team Wednesday.
EMBIID HAS SURGERY ON FOOT: Top prospect Joel Embiid had two screws placed in his right foot during surgery Friday to repair a stress fracture that could cause him to fall in next week’s NBA draft.
Dr. Richard Ferkel said in a statement that the surgery on the navicular bone went well and he is confident Embiid will be able to return to the court after “appropriate healing.” Ferkel did not put a timetable on the recovery, but it is expected to be a long process.
Embiid was widely considered one of the top three prospects in the draft and a serious candidate to be chosen No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers. But the injury could turn some teams away from the versatile big man from Kansas.