I've had a tough time figuring out why Tom Izzo has taken so long to make a decision, but it is all starting to make sense thanks to a report from WLNS' Lisa Byington.
There is no decision as of this hour, but we've learned from an impeccable source that the hold-up really lays in contacting LeBron James.
Our source tells us that Izzo and LeBron have not been in contact yet, and that's the one missing piece Izzo needs and wants to hear to make his final decision.
If this is the case, then the reason Izzo has yet to make a decision isn't because he can't make up his mind; it's because he has yet to collect all of the information necessary to make an informed decision. It wouldn't make sense for him to give the Cavaliers an answer one way or another before chatting with LeBron James, both to discuss how likely or unlikely it is that LeBron will return to Cleveland and to talk basketball in general. Izzo wants to know what James' thoughts are before deciding, which is the right thing to do.
High-level source says PD report that LeBron prefers a coach who played in NBA isn't accurate.
LeBron is known to highly respect Tom Izzo. That said, no sign LeBron plans to commit to anything before July 1.
Source: LeBron James would approve of Tom Izzo's hiring as #Cavs coach. "100 percent" high-placed source tells PD.
Of course, just because LeBron would approve of Izzo's hiring and respects him doesn't mean that Izzo will decide to leave Michigan State. If James suddenly decided to sign a contract extension with the Cavs, then I would bet Izzo makes his mind up to take the Cleveland job pretty quickly. Since that isn't going to happen, however, this decision likely will come down to the vibe Izzo gets from LeBron once the two finally talk. I'm sure in a perfect world Izzo would just wait to see what LeBron does before doing anything himself, but there's no way he can let this drag on until July. Even if the Cavs were fine with taking a wait and see approach, there's simply no way Izzo can wait that much longer, so he will either have to decide to stay at MSU or take a risk and go to the Cavs with no guarantee that LeBron James will re-sign.
If LeBron and Izzo are able to talk on Monday, I'd bet a decision comes down pretty quickly. By this point Izzo has had more than enough time to weigh the pros and cons of leaving MSU, and he has also visited with the Cavaliers franchise for an extensive period of time. If he had any reason not to take the Cavs job based on all of that, he would have removed his name from consideration by now. Since he hasn't, it's now pretty obvious that his decision could come down to a simple phone conversation with LeBron. There's no guarantee that the call will be a deal breaker one way or another, but chances are what is discussed will finally allow Izzo to take a look at the big picture based on everything he has thought about and make that all-important decision to stay at or leave MSU.