Well, Cavaliers GM David Griffin’s contract was supposed to be up by June 30 and it appears that owner Dan Gilbert and Griffin weren’t able to come to an agreement on a new deal.
The Cavs and general manager David Griffin will part ways according to sources— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) June 19, 2017
This is almost without doubt terrible news for the Cavaliers. Griffin has proved himself to be one of the most adept GMs in the league at maneuvering around the subtleties of the salary cap, and important skill given the Cavaliers payroll and asset situation. You could comfortably make the case that there is no GM better suited for the specific needs that Cleveland has.
It doesn’t appear that the Griffin departure is solely a concern of money, per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
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
The differences of opinion are unclear as of now, but I’m sure we’ll find more in the coming days.
Griffin compiled the roster that won the franchise’s first ever title last season, and spent the entire 2017 season as a lame-duck GM. He certainly has a few misses on his resume, as Iman Shumpert hasn’t lived up to his contract and Timofey Mozgov only turned in half of a season of strong play, but his overall body of work is hard to argue with.
He traded Dion Waiters for J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, and a first-round pick. He acquired Channing Frye for nothing. He flipped Matthew Dellavedova, a player who was signing elsewhere, into an asset in Mike Dunleavy. He has proven to be among the finest GMs in the league, and deserved to be paid.
The Cavaliers don’t get a ton of credit for organizational structure, and when you are unwilling to pay the architect of your championship roster, it certainly doesn’t help their cause.
Chauncey Billups is a name that’s arisen, via Wojnarowski, as a potential successor to Griffin. Billups has no front office experience, but won a title in 2004 with the Detroit Pistons.
There’s no telling what direction the team will move in next, but fans will just have to hope that they’re able to find somebody as talented as Griffin on the market.