The Cleveland Cavaliers and general manager David Griffin will part ways. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
Yahoo Sports and the Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski also confirmed the news and added that Griffin and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert “couldn’t agree on the future.”
Griffin’s contract was set to expire on June 30th and it’s unclear as of now if Griffin will finish that contract and oversee the NBA Draft for the organization on Thursday.
As for who could be a potential replacement, Wojnarowski reported that former NBA point guard Chauncey Billups could be a candidate. He has a relationship with Gilbert as well as head coach Ty Lue. If hired, Woj reported that Billups would be the President of Basketball Operations and he would hire a general manager.
My initial reaction to the move is disappointing. It’s unfortunate that Gilbert and Griffin couldn’t come to an agreement so Griffin could stay here and continue to help the Cavaliers win another championship.
He’s done a great job since becoming general manager in February of 2014. Taking a roster which was one of the worst in basketball to a championship contender, granted Lebron James deciding to come home was a big part in that but Griffin made some great transactions to help build around James and Kyrie Irving.
- Signing Kyrie Irving to a max contract
- Trading Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett for Kevin Love
- Trading Dion Waiters for Iman Shumpert and getting J.R. Smith as a “throw in”
- Trading for Timofey Mozgov
- Trading Anderson Varejao for Channing Frye
- Trading Mike Dunleavy and Mo Williams for Kyle Korver
Those moves helped the Cavaliers become the powerhouse of the Eastern Conference, making three straight trips to the NBA Finals and snapping the 52 year championship drought for the city of Cleveland.
Griffin will be missed and if you’re on social media, you can tell that Cavalier fans are upset with this decision, granted it was a mutual decision.
Dan Gilbert doesn’t value the general manager position and it’s shown since he’s become the owner of the team in 2005. He’s looking at his fourth person to lead the basketball operations and has promoted from within the last few times with Chris Grant and David Griffin.
Problem is the guy he could promote from within, assistant general manager Trent Redden’s contract also expires on June 30 and USA Today has reported that they will not renew his contract.
With rumors of potential trades for Paul George and Jimmy Butler, many people wondered who was making those calls and was the lead of those discussions. Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com reported Sunday that Griffin was the lead man in talks with the Pacers for George.
David Aldridge of NBA TV and Turner Sports that Griffin was working as of his last hour on the job on a “monster deal” to acquire Butler from the Chicago Bulls.
Wojnarowski reported that the team had difficulty in talks because teams were asking about Griffin’s future with the organization.
People also need to wonder how Lebron feels about this decision. He stated to the media on multiple occasions that Griffin deserved a new contract and to remain as the general manager. I know there’s people out there who believe Lebron is the actual general manager but that isn’t and has never been the case.
Lebron is heading into his final season and with currently no one at the helm to make roster moves besides Gilbert, you have to wonder if we’re looking towards his last season in Cleveland. It’s only speculation on my part but you have to wonder about these things.
Gilbert knows he must keep Lebron happy or Lebron will leave Cleveland once again. He’s lucky he even came back three years ago despite “The Letter” that Gilbert penned after James left for Miami in 2010.
Lebron spoke recently that his family didn’t even want to go back to Cleveland because of Gilbert and how he disrespected their name but Lebron convinced them that Gilbert wasn’t the reason why he wanted to go home and to look at the bigger picture of why he wanted to return.
It’s unclear how their relationship stands or has stood since James’ return but Gilbert has obliged to increase the payroll and pay a heavy luxury tax to help keep Cleveland in championship contention.
As for the Billups rumors, I’m willing to give him a chance if he is indeed the next guy to lead the basketball operations. My only fear is he’d bring in Joe Dumars as his general manager. They have a relationship from their days with the Detroit Pistons and Dumars has been linked to the Cavs in the past.
Dumars was President of Basketball Operations for Detroit from 2000 to 2014. He helped build the Pistons into a championship team during the 2000s. Making moves such as drafting Tayshaun Prince and pulling off trades for Ben and Rasheed Wallace and Richard Hamilton as well as signing Billups as a free agent before winning the NBA championship in 2004
However, Dumars didn’t draft well and made some poor decisions as an executive after that such as giving Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon big contracts in the summer of 2009 and drafting guys like Austin Daye and Brandon Knight in the draft lottery.
This is going to be a very interesting summer for the Wine and Gold.