Any time a relationship comes to an end, there is usually some baggage left behind. Sometimes it’s emotional, sometimes it’s things you’ve collected together over time. A parting gift may be an angry letter, or a burning pile of clothes. In David Griffin’s departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers, the parting gift may be the framework to another big move for the franchise.
According to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, Griffin left the framework for potential trades for Jimmy Butler or Paul George, so that a deal could be done without him.
From the report:
Both teams would seek a high, first-round draft pick, which the Cavs do not have. Among the options Griffin presented to owner Dan Gilbert and front office personnel still in Cleveland involved Phoenix, which owns the No. 4 pick in Thursday's draft.
George told the Pacers he would leave as a free agent next summer, essentially forcing Indiana to trade him now, and his preferred destination is the Lakers. To that end, ESPN reported Tuesday that Indiana and Los Angeles were engaged in trade talks. But the Cavs are still engaging the Pacers.
With the possibility that the front office destabilization would ruin a potential trade, this is an important development. It also gives us a better idea of how far along these talks are, as it is clearly beyond the point of exploratory talks.
The acquisition of either Butler or George would put the Cavs in a much better position to match-up against the Golden State Warriors. Both players have ties to members of the Cavs roster, with George and LeBron James having a friendship, as well as Butler and Kyrie Irving.
Moving Kevin Love for Butler is likely the more attractive option for the Cavs organization, as he has more term on his contract and provides them with more security moving forward. While the fit wouldn’t be as seamless as George, Butler was arguably the second best player in the Eastern Conference and could significantly increase the Cavs odds of winning their second championship.