The Cleveland Cavaliers' exhaustive head coaching search is expanding -- again.
The team will interview former Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt, a person familiar with the team's plans told The Associated Press on Thursday. Earlier in the day, Blatt announced in Israel that he's leaving the European champion to pursue an unspecified job in the NBA. He'll meet with the Cavs next week, said the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team is not discussing any aspect of its search -- now a month old.
The Cavaliers reportedly will give second interviews to Los Angeles Clippers assistant coaches Alvin Gentry and Tyronn Lue. Also, ESPN.com reported that Cleveland general manager David Griffin spoke with Mark Jackson, whom the Warriors fired last month.
Blatt, 55, has known Griffin for years. At his news conference, Blatt, who led Maccabi to its first European title this year, said he's weighing offers from unnamed teams and has "a few good options."
He's expected to make a decision soon. Blatt has drawn interest to be an assistant with the Warriors, New York and Minnesota.
The Cavaliers, though, are interested in talking to him about being their head coach. They reached out to him last week but had not set up a face-to-face meeting.
"I am leaving here not because I was asked to. The opposite is true, I was asked to stay, and offered the best possible conditions for such an event," Blatt said. " It has been a dream of mine for almost forever to go and join a team in the NBA in some capacity."
Blatt has coached in Greece, Israel, Italy, Turkey and led Russia to a bronze-medal finish at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Last month, he led Maccabi to the Euroleague championship.
Hornets: The team announced late Thursday that Rod Higgins resigned as head of basketball operations. The move comes two weeks before the Hornets make the ninth, 24th and 45th picks in the draft.
Higgins, a former Warrior player, was hired by the Hornets as general manager in 2007 before taking over basketball operations in June 2011. Rich Cho will remain general manager and take on basketball operations duties.
Heat: LeBron James claimed the first he heard of talk that New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony had interest in playing next year in Miami was from a reporter on Thursday, the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) reported.
When told of the report, James acted as if he had no clue. "When did this happen?" James asked.
According to ESPN, James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Heat officials have already begun exploring options to create cap space for Anthony. On July 1, Anthony can decide if he wants to opt out of the final year of his contract.
The report, citing anonymous sources, said James was willing to take a pay cut because of income made from off-court business ventures.
Staff writer Diamond Leung contributed to this report.