With David Griffin out as Cavs GM, Cleveland has turned it’s sights to Chauncey Billups according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Per Wojnarowski, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert will meet with Billups soon to discuss the role.
Billups also has strong relationships with Gilbert and Cavs coach Tyronn Lue.
Billups, who retired from the NBA in 2014, has no front office experience. Not much is known about his team building philosophy. On ESPN, he did say that he would trade Kevin Love for Carmelo Anthony, saying the deal would make the Cavs “better.” A Love-Anthony swap was something Griffin was not interested in.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, former Bucks assistant GM Justin Zanik would be a strong candidate to work under Billups. Zanik recently left the Bucks after being passed over for their GM job. Wojnarowski said the Cavs would hire a GM under Billups to handle some of the day-to-day responsibilities and Zanik could fill that role.
With LeBron James set to turn 33 next year and also set to be a free agent next summer, entrusting the franchise to someone with experience is a major risk. This is not a Lakers-like situation where a rebuild is ongoing and Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka have time to learn.
The draft is Thursday and free agency is right around the corner. Up until he left, Griffin was attempting to negotiate a deal for Jimmy Butler. One would assume that those negotiations would now go down to zero. Ditto for any Paul George talks, especially with the Pacers looking to deal sooner rather than later. The timing of this decision, coupled with who is being considered to take over the team, should be concerning. An important offseason for the Cavs is off to a very rocky start.