Cleveland Cavaliers look to Europe in search for head coach

The Cavs have contacted Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt about replacing the departing Mike Brown.

As the NBA coaching carousel gets into full swing, the Cleveland Cavaliers have turned their attention overseas as they look for their new head coach.

Highly respected coach Mike Blatt, currently of Maccabi Tel Aviv, has been contacted by the team. The Cavs have already interviewed Alvin Gentry, Vinny Del Negro and Lionel Hollins, among others.

American-born Blatt has previously drawn attention from NBA teams looking for an assistant coach, but this is the first time he has been in the discussion for a head coaching job in the NBA.

Blatt guided Maccabi Tel Aviv to a Euroleague title last season, beating titans Real Madrid in overtime in the final.

He began his playing career at Princeton University, where he learned the highly acclaimed 'Princeton offense' from coach Pete Carrill, before turning pro and playing in the Israeli Super League from 1981-1993.

The last Euroleague coach to be linked to an NBA head coaching job was CSKA Moscow's Ettore Messina. He was in the discussion to be the new Sacramento Kings head coach , before he joined the Los Angeles Lakers as an assistant under Mike Brown in 2012.

There are plenty of candidates in the Cavs' coaching search, and Blatt may still need to bide his time before coming to the NBA. Although he may be best served starting out as an assistant in the league, there is a clear shift in the way European basketball is being viewed in the United States.

The focus on pick-and-rolls and big men who can stretch the floor by shooting three-pointers, as well as the increased number of international players in the NBA, means the transition from Europe will not be as difficult as in previous years.

With the league moving to more of a 'European' playing style, it may be time for an NBA team to bring in someone experienced in coaching basketball on the continent.

Blatt's knowledge of the Princeton offense, combined with his vast experience in implementing European philosophies, could make him the ideal candidate to make the switch from Europe to the United States.