General

Cavs and David Griffin to part ways after contract

If you were excited about the potential for Paul George to become the next member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, prepare to be grounded by the news that the team and its championship-winning general manager will part ways after his contract ends on June 30.

Brian Windhorst was the first to report the news:

Though it was thought to be a possibility given the demand surrounding Griffin heading into this summer, the lack of job openings and the desire to continue improving the Cavaliers’ roster in recent days was thought to signal a sea change for the organization. Griffin had been a subject of desire for the Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks, both teams reportedly willing to make him President of Operations, only to fill their vacancies as the Cavs played in to June.

Nevertheless, it appears that team owner Dan Gilbert will move on to his fifth general manager since owning the team.1 This, of course, on the one-year anniversary of Game 7, during a crucial stretch of weeks that could decide the future of the franchise when it comes to remaining in contention for another championship.

According to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, former Detroit Piston (surprise!) Chauncey Billups is expected to emerge as a candidate to not only fill Griffin’s spot, but hire his replacement.

Stay tuned.

  1. Griffin’s right-hand man Trent Redden, who was also up for renewal, will not be retained. []

  • RGB

    Does this mean that LBJ is officially assuming the position?

  • JM85

    Well this sucks.

  • RGB

    Trade LBJ.
    Now.

  • chrisdottcomm
  • Natedawg86

    Odd. I don’t get it

  • Saggy

    I am not losing sleep. This isn’t exactly the NFL where trades can be Harvard-level theses. There are assets out there and assets on the Cavs. There will be ways to exchange those that the replacement folks figure out. Relax, folks.

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  • MartyDaVille

    This has to be about more than money. Gilbert isn’t CHEePE, as his payroll and luxury tax installments prove. Whatever Griffin wanted would be a small fraction of what Gilbert’s already laying out.

    I can’t remember anyone doing as good a job as Cavs GM as Griffin did. I hope Gilbert knows what he’s doing. Right now I’m not sure he does.

  • MartyDaVille

    Okay, unfounded speculative, not even anonymously sourced, throw-some-Tweet-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks, completely made-up hot take: Gilbert wanted to trade Love for George and Griffin didn’t.

    Or vice versa.

  • chrisdottcomm

    I’d put money on a combination of Gilbert fearful of LeBron leaving in 18 so wanting to push all the chips in on Paul George for another shot, Griffin wanting to keep this core intact, Griffin wanting Dan to keep out of Basketball Operations, etc.

  • swig

    Continuity is part of wining organizations in every sport. This is why we can’t have nice things.

  • JNeids

    I didn’t lose sleep because I wrapped myself up in my 2016 Championship blanket, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t shivering in fear inside. I am legitimately nervous about the state/direction of this franchise right now. Maybe Griffin’s replacement can replicate his wizardry. Maybe Lebron sticks around after next season. Maybe Gilbert doesn’t keep meddling in basketball business and doesn’t keep trying to turn us into the Cleveland Pistons. But those are a lot of serious maybes. Thank god for 2016…

  • Harv

    When on first blush your team owner’s big move seems misbegotten, it usually is. Disagreement about “direction”? What on earth does Dan Gilbert know about basketball direction? Maybe Gilbert will get lucky picking another good GM just like he got lucky with Griff. But probably not, given his prior choices of Ferry and Grant. And Chauncey will go from playing and commentating to running a front office. Now, there’s a proven formula.

    This sure feels like a cliche about ownership hubris. Griffin has been one of the league’s lowest paid GMs. He quickly and competently put together a championship team on the fly, shifting gears abruptly when LeBron came home and risking his career with Blatt’s firing. He thought he earned market pay and market organizational power. But Blustery Dan ain’t no Dolan. If he’s smart enough to make a billion this NBA thing can’t be so hard. Just go back to that Michigan comfort well. Want a play by play guy? Get the Pistons guy. Want a good coach? Offer everything to the Michigan State coach. Want your next front office guy? Hey, Chauncey was a clutch player in Detroit and he seems to know his basketball. Either you got it or you don’t.

    Maybe Dan will get lucky. Maybe he won’t and when LeBron leaves next summer the connection to the events of 6/19/17 will be as indelible as our connection to 6/19/16. Either way, discarding front office competence with such casualness seems like an idiotic risk to this Cleveland fan.

  • MartyDaVille

    Yeah, I did not think this would happen. I thought they might walk up close to the edge, but I never thought they’d go over it.

  • Natedawg86

    Thinking back, should it be this surprising that it didn’t get done 10 days before his contract ended? I just think odd with the timing due to the FAs and trades happening in the next few days…

  • Natedawg86

    Me thinks maybe Gilbert wanted to move Love and Griffin wasn’t going to?

  • Harv

    totally. Given the amount of GM stuff that happens between the end of Final and the draft it could indicate something unexpected happened. Or it could show a lack of strategic thinking, given the word that teams were reluctant to get deep in the weeds with Griffin over the weekend not knowing if he even had authority to speak for the team.

  • BenRM

    Ferry gets more hate than he deserves.

  • JNeids

    Put another way, Ferry doesn’t get as much love as he should

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTwJHZNniiM

  • Harv

    well, Ferry did much better work for ATL than here so I think he gets precisely the hate he deserves. But fine, Grant may have been worse so I shall endeavor to mention them in separate comments.

  • Harv

    this was meant as funny but reads snarky. Sorry, Ben.

  • They can’t.

  • tsm

    Agree, but Griffin may be getting more praise than he deserves. I heard this morning that he traded away 7 first round selections. Of course, two of those went for Love, so that leaves 5 for our role players. The real question is if another GM would have gotten more for those 5 first rounders. I am not stating that another GM would, just raising the question.

  • Harv

    that stat means nothing without context. Show me where the picks were (most at bottom of first round where it’s hard to find a player to contribute, if at all, quickly enough that LeBron is still in his prime), and who they received. Chris Grant’s era was player development; Griffin’s was “win now, even if you pay for it later.” His battle was squeezing veteran contributors into tiny crevices of salary cap, sometimes using low first rounders as bait, and he did that well.

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