Cavs GM David Griffin is out and the team’s star player isn’t happy about it, nor was he made aware of the change.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, LeBron James was not consulted about the decision to move on from Griffin by Cavs owner Dan Gilbert:
Dan Gilbert didn't consult with LeBron James prior to parting with David Griffin, sources said. James had advocated for Griffin extension— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) June 20, 2017
Additionally, per Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck, James is “disappointed” that Griffin is leaving:
Source: LeBron is "disappointed" at Griffin's departure, as well as the timing, & "concerned" abt what this portends for Cavs going forward.— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) June 20, 2017
The decision to not involve James, who had called for Griffin to get an extension in the past, is confusing. He can be a free agent next summer and his relationship with Gilbert has never been that strong post-Decision. Keeping him happy while making a decision that directly impacts the franchise’s future seems like an obvious move.
"It makes no sense why he shouldn't get an extension," James told ESPN about Griffin deserving an extension. "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."
It’s hard to know right now what the decision to talk to James about Griffin means and we may not hear directly from James for some time. But, if James is doubting Gilbert and there is friction, that doesn’t necessarily bode well for James’ future in Cleveland. It’ll be interesting to see if James has any say in who replaces Griffin as well. This story is far from over.