The moment Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert decided to part ways with general manager David Griffin last June seemed to be the start of what was a dismal rest of the offseason and even at times during the season for the wine and gold. In one of the most important offseasons for the Cavs, given that it could be LeBron James’ last season in Cleveland, the wine and gold were left without a general manager for almost a month. Then Koby Altman was given the job, a 34-year-old who had never been a general manager and was faced with improving the Cavs and appeasing James from the moment he took the job. His first task came when Kyrie Irving requested a trade and was inevitably traded to the Boston Celtics.
Fast forward to early February and reports began surfacing that James wasn’t happy and was likely spending his last months with the Cavs before decided to go elsewhere this summer. Cleveland was just too old and didn’t have enough trade-worthy assets that others around the league coveted in order to improve the team. Altman was faced with a task to somehow make the team better even though he would have a hard time trading anyone not named LeBron James, or so we thought.
In shocking moves on deadline day, the Cavs traded six players and acquired four, completely revamping their roster while becoming more athletic and skilled on the wing, along with adding some shooting as well. Somehow, Altman was even able to get rid of contracts that the Cavs had been looking to move since last season.
Griffin didn’t hold back when praising the first-year general manager who had such a tough task that he (somehow) made the most of while getting younger, improving the team’s chances in the postseason, and even keeping the Brooklyn pick.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) February 8, 2018
As you know better than anyone, Bobby, perception and reality typically have a spurious connection at best. Koby Altman and the @cavs front office were never in over their heads, just handed a nearly untenable situation and have found a way to thrive in the adversity! https://t.co/bJlE13gMN8
— David Griffin (@dg_riff) February 8, 2018
During his time with the Cavs from 2013-17, Griffin seemed to be a magician when it came to making trades to improve the wine and gold, especially just ahead of the trade deadline. He made the most out of nothing, something that seemed to mesmerize Cavs fans every time.
Getting a nod of approval from Griffin seems important, especially for a first-year general manager who is younger than some of the players on the Cavs. At the worst, it’s a boost of confidence for the young general manager. Although Griffin also seemed to like the deal that sent Irving to the Celtics, this one seems different. Now we wait and see how it will actually play out on the court.