David Blatt, the Israeli American who was fired this season as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, is reportedly set to sign on as skipper for a Turkish basketball team.
Blatt has already reached an agreement for a several year contract with the Istanbul Darüşşafaka Doğuş team, and won’t be returning to the NBA, the Israeli sports website One reported on Tuesday.
Blatt was set to be paid €1.5 million ($1.6 million), according to the Ynet news website.
There was no official confirmation of the signing, news of which come as his former Cavs are set to compete for the NBA championship against the Golden State Warriors for a second straight year.
The Israeli-American coach had interviewed at the Sacramento Kings and the New York Knicks last month and was also considered by the Los Angeles Lakers, who signed Luke Walton last month.
After he was fired from the Cavs in a surprise move in January, Blatt said he wanted to remain in the NBA, as opposed to returning to coaching in Israel and the European leagues, where he led Maccabi Tel Aviv to five national titles and the 2014 Euroleague championship. He also guided the Russian national team to a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
At the time of his dismissal, the Cavaliers had the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Some claimed the team’s superstar, LeBron James, undermined the coach.
This week Tyrone Lue, who took over as Cavs coach, said he had reacted to the news of Blatt’s firing by telling manager David Griffin, “this is fucked up,” according to Cleveland.com.
Blatt had led the Cavs to the 2015 NBA Finals, where they lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games.
JTA contributed to this report.