Report: Cavs, Shaw talk, but no deal

Updated: June 30, 2010, 1:24 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers are closing in on hiring a new coach.

Brian Shaw appears to be their target.

The Los Angeles Lakers assistant completed two days of interviews with the Cavs, who have not yet offered Shaw -- or anyone else -- a contract to replace Mike Brown as their coach, a person familiar with Cleveland's search told The Associated Press.

A source close to the situation told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher that the Cavs will decide between Shaw and former Hornets coach Byron Scott and that Cleveland will decide between the two by the end of this week.

Shaw is the new front-runner. He returned to Los Angeles without a contract offer, but that doesn't mean he won't be coming back to Cleveland.

Asked if Shaw was the Cavs' man, his agent, Jerome Stanley replied late Tuesday night in an e-mail to The Associated Press: "Yes."

A 14-year NBA veteran and five-year assistant to Phil Jackson, Shaw, who has won five championship rings, arrived on Monday to meet with owner Dan Gilbert and general manager Chris Grant for close to 10 hours and continued the discussions Tuesday. Shaw has never been a head coach, but the Cavs took a similar risk five years ago with Brown, who led the club through its most successful stretch before he was fired last month.

It's possible the Cavs have worked on the parameters of a contract with Shaw, but aren't quite ready to make it official.

Earlier, Stanley indicated the sides were moving toward an agreement by telling the Los Angeles Times by text that Shaw was "close to accepting deal" with the Cavs.

Scott's agent, Brian McInerney, indicated his client is no longer interested in Cleveland's vacancy and wished Shaw well in an e-mail to the AP.

"Coach Scott welcomes Coach Shaw into the ranks of head coaching, and as a Laker family brother, wishes him the best, until the final two minutes of any game where they are competing against each other," McInerney wrote.

Shaw also is believed to be a strong candidate to replace Jackson if the 11-time champion retires. Despite reports to the contrary, sources told Bucher that Scott is not a serious candidate for the Lakers' job. Jackson is expected to announce his plans this week.

With the free agency period beginning a minute past midnight ET on Thursday, the Cavs also must devote their energies toward attempting to re-sign superstar LeBron James.

The team was recently snubbed by Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, who rejected a reported $30 million to jump to the NBA in part because the Cavs couldn't guarantee him that James would be back. Cleveland has had informal talks with Scott.

Brown was fired on May 24, 11 days following the Cavs' second-round playoff loss to Boston.

Information from Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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