Despite building the Cavaliers team around LeBron James that won three straight Eastern Conference championships and won the 2016 NBA title, general manager David Griffin is out. Owner Dan Gilbert, in a statement Monday night, announced that the Cavs and Griffin were parting ways.
Statement from Dan Gilbert on allowing the architect of an NBA championship & 3x conference championship team leave pic.twitter.com/RhbceGlhI6— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) June 19, 2017
Statement from David Griffin: pic.twitter.com/2a7aJdIUVH— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) June 20, 2017
The move to oust Griffin comes as reports circulate that the Cavs are in trade talks for two NBA all-stars. According to multiple reports, Griffin has been looking at a possible trade with Indiana for forward Paul George while also discussing a potential deal with Chicago for forward Jimmy Butler. Making those potential moves, or others may now become the responsibility of former NBA star and current ESPN basketball analyst Chauncey Billups.
Sources: As David Griffin departs as Cavs -- "Just couldn't agree on future," source says - Chauncey Billups expected to emerge as candidate— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 19, 2017
It appears the move to remove Griffin was not a hit with James. In fact, during the season James had lobbied for Griffin to receive a contract extension. That never happened. After the news broke Monday night that Griffin was out, James reacted on Twitter and seemed to take a subtle shot at Gilbert.
If no one appreciated you Griff I did, and hopefully all the people of Cleveland! Thanks for what u did for the team for 3 yrs! We got us 1🏆— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 20, 2017
The coming days will be interesting for the Cavs, who are trying to retool the roster after losing to Golden State in the NBA Finals. The most talked about player who could be on the move is Kevin Love. If Billups indeed does take over, he has no NBA front office experience. It could be baptism by fire as teams discuss trades leading up to Thursday's NBA draft.