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Cavaliers granted permission to speak with Spurs’ Ettore Messina

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

As the Cleveland Cavaliers continue their broad approach to find a new head coach to replace Larry Drew, one name has popped up as a potential leading candidate.

According to Marc Stein of The NY Times, Spurs assistant Ettore Messina has been granted permission to speak with Cleveland about its vacancy.

Largely regarded as one of the most-respected basketball minds in the game, the 59-year-old Messina has been Gregg Popovich’s top assistant in San Antonio since 2014. He’s also the head coach of the Italian national team.

A hire of this ilk would be rather interesting for a Cavaliers team that’s gone more of a traditional route in its search for a head coach. Coming off a 63-loss campaign, Messina would be fresh air for the Cavs.