The Orlando Magic’s recently reported interest in Cleveland Cavaliers GM David Griffin has become serious.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Magic plan to offer Griffin their president of basketball operations job when the Cavs’ season ends. Griffin’s contract with the Cavs expires at the end of the season and the team has not held “meaningful discussions” on a new deal, per Windhorst. He could, though, still return to Cleveland per Windhorst. Orlando has been without a GM since firing Rob Hennigan at the end of their season.
LeBron James recently said that Griffin deserves an extension.
"It makes no sense why he shouldn't get an extension," James told ESPN. "He's pulled every move -- he's tried to make every move happen -- to better this team to be able to compete for a championship. So we wouldn't be in this position, obviously, without him and without the guys that are here -- from the coaching staff to the players to Griff. He's been a big piece of it."
Losing Griffin would be a huge blow for the Cavs. He’s been around since 2010 and has been Cleveland’s GM since 2014. Over the past few years, he’s been the architect of the team that won the title last year, made the 2014-15 NBA Finals and is expected to make a third straight finals this year. The players (aside from James, who signed as a free agent) Griffin acquired as GM include Kevin Love, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, Kyle Korver and Channing Frye.
If that happens, the Cavs and Magic could be fighting for Griffin just days before the 2017 NBA Draft - Orlando has the fifth best odds of landing the No. 1 pick - and weeks before free agency.
If Griffin does end up leaving for Orlando taking over that organization, this would mark a organizational shakeup in Cleveland. It’s far to early to know how likely this is and Griffin can’t even enter negotiations with the Magic until the Cavs’ season ends. But this story is not yet done and it could be the start of an interesting offseason in Cleveland.