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Izzo close to leaving MSU


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Tom Izzo is apparently closer to saying yes to the Cleveland Cavaliers than previously thought, a source told ESPN.com's Andy Katz on Thursday.

That source discussed Izzo's future with a close confidant of Izzo, who is coaching in the NBA. The source told Katz that Izzo, who talked to his team earlier this week about his interest in the Cavaliers, is leaning toward taking the job if it is offered.

"Three weeks ago that wasn't the case, but it has changed,'' said the source.

Izzo is meeting with Cleveland to discuss the team's coaching vacancy on Thursday. He arrived at Burke Lakefront Airport on Thursday afternoon.

"Coach Izzo made me aware he is meeting with Cleveland," Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said in a statement. "The details of any meetings are between him and me."

A source within the Cavaliers organization told The Associated Press that Izzo will be in Cleveland to meet with the Cavs and tour their facilities.

Izzo isn't the only coach interested in the Cavaliers' job, which may or may not include the chance to coach free agent LeBron James. Wednesday night, an NBA Eastern Conference executive with knowledge of the Cavaliers' thinking told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard that Byron Scott is a strong candidate to be offered the job instead of Izzo.

The executive told Broussard that Scott is on equal footing with Izzo.

Scott, the former Los Angeles Lakers' guard who has coached the New Jersey Nets and the New Orleans Hornets, has spoken with members of the Cavaliers' front office the past few days, and late Wednesday night the talks took on a more serious nature, the source told Broussard. Scott is expected to have a formal interview with the team before the end of this weekend.

Izzo, meanwhile, said recently that he wouldn't leave Michigan State until the school won another national championship. But that feeling has apparently changed. He met with his players on Tuesday, according to Spartans associate head coach Mark Montgomery, updating them on Izzo's interest in the Cavs job. He did not give any indication of whether he would take the job, but a source told Katz that Izzo told the team he has a lot of thinking to do about taking the position.

A member of the Michigan State Board of Trustees said earlier this week that Izzo has already turned down an offer from the Chicago Bulls this offseason. A source within the Bulls' organization denied that to ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell, though the source did say that Izzo and the Bulls had talked.

Cleveland is looking to replace Mike Brown, who was fired after the Cavaliers lost to the Boston Celtics in the second round of the NBA playoffs.

Information from ESPN.com college basketball reporter Andy Katz, ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard, ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell and The Associated Press was used in this report

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