After a month of not officially having a general manager, the Cleveland Cavaliers will soon make it official that Koby Altman will be the next man in charge of the basketball operations department.
This will be the third straight general manager for the Cavaliers to be promoted from within following Chris Grant in 2010 and David Griffin in 2014.
Altman is 34 years old and will be the youngest general manager in the NBA. He’s been a member of the front office since August of 2012 when he was hired as a pro personnel manager. Within a year he was promoted to director of pro player personnel and was the assistant general manager under David Griffin last season.
When David Griffin parted ways with the team last month, Altman became the man in charge to negotiate trades and free agency moves for the organization as the interim general manager.
Altman had a deal lined up on June 30 to acquire All-Star forward Paul George from the Indiana Pacers before Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard backed out and traded George to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Former NBA player Chauncey Billups was negotiating to become President of Basketball Operations but when he was lowballed an offer in terms of salary and power by Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, Billups turned down the job and basically forced Gilbert to end up hiring Altman.
Not saying Altman is a bad hire but Gilbert didn’t have a backup plan after Billups and was basically forced to promote from within for the third straight time.
Altman has some intense pressure on him already and he’s not officially the general manager. Point guard Kyrie Irving told the organization last week in a meeting that he would like to be traded. He gave them a list of teams he’d like to go to but since he doesn’t have a no trade clause, the team doesn’t have to cater to his wants and needs.
Altman also has the pressure to build a roster good enough to compete for an NBA championship and to convince Lebron James to stick around for the remainder of his career.
The rumors have run wild the first few weeks of the offseason about James potentially leaving Cleveland again next summer and I think it’s too early to say where Lebron will play basketball in 2018. Reporters today said Lebron is training hard and focused on winning another championship for Cleveland.
I hope Altman learned plenty underneath Griffin and will become a successful executive in the NBA. However, with Gilbert’s history of meddling, you’ll never know how good or how bad Altman could be.
Only time will tell.