Cleveland Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert and General Manager Danny Ferry have mutually agreed they will not enter into a new contract. The announcement was made jointly today by Gilbert and Ferry.
Ferry was named the eighth general manager in Cleveland Cavaliers history on June 27, 2005. He led the team through the most successful period in franchise history, including a NBA-high 127 regular season wins over the last two seasons, as well as being the only team in the NBA to advance past the first round of the playoffs in each of the past five seasons. The Cavaliers won their first-ever Eastern Conference Championship and made their only trip to the NBA Finals in 2007. The Cavaliers record during Ferry's five-season tenure was 272-138 (.663). The team's playoff record was 42-29 (.592).
"For five years, Danny Ferry was instrumental in leading the establishment of a culture, process and professionalism that has become part of the fabric of the definition of 'who' are the Cleveland Cavaliers. Danny worked extremely hard to create this strong foundation that we will continue to build upon going forward with much gratitude and appreciation," said Gilbert. "This solid foundation is evident by the natural and clear choice to choose his close associate, Chris Grant, whom Danny worked in partnership with for his entire five years leading the Cavaliers front office, to succeed Danny as the Cleveland Cavaliers new general manager."
"On behalf of the entire Cleveland Cavaliers organization, I would like to thank Danny and hope that he and his family experience nothing but continued health and success in the years ahead," added Gilbert.
Ferry also spent 10 seasons (1990-2000) playing in Cleveland as a member of the Cavaliers. He played in 723 regular season games which is second most in franchise history (Ilgauskas).
"It is difficult to articulate what the last five years has meant to me, both professionally and personally. I have had a tremendous experience as the General Manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers and have great respect for the people within the organization that I have worked with. Our ultimate goal was to win a championship but it was also critically important to establish a foundation to achieve sustained success and have the ability to contend year in and year out. That helped us achieve our first trip to the NBA Finals, qualifying for the playoffs each of the last five years and back to back 60 win seasons," said Ferry.
"At the same time, we wanted to establish a championship-caliber culture that provided a consistency of purpose and a compass for operating on and off the court. I truly appreciate Dan Gilbert' s dedication and commitment in helping us achieve many of our goals. As with many organizations, structure and dynamics evolve and it was evident to me that it was the right time to move on. I have great respect for Dan Gilbert and wish he and the entire organization nothing but success," continued Ferry.
Replacing Ferry as general manager is Chris Grant, formerly the Cavaliers assistant general manager/vice president of basketball operations. Grant joined the Cavaliers as assistant general manager on July 9th, 2005. As assistant general manager/vice president of basketball operations, Grant worked closely with Ferry on all basketball operations and front office elements, including the draft, trades, free agency and player contracts, as well as overseeing the domestic and international scouting programs. Grant also spearheaded the design and construction of the Cavaliers' state-of-the-art player development center, Cleveland Clinic Courts, which opened at the start of the 2007 season.
Prior to joining the Cavaliers, Grant spent the previous nine seasons with the Atlanta Hawks where he was promoted in 2004 to the position of vice president of basketball operations and assistant general manager. In his nine years with the Hawks, Grant held several different positions including advance scout, assistant director of scouting, director of scouting and vice president/assistant general manager.