David Griffin out as Cleveland Cavaliers GM, Chauncey Billups leading candidate

By The Sports Xchange  |  June 19, 2017 at 8:41 PM
share with facebook
share with twitter

A year ago, David Griffin was celebrating the Cleveland Cavaliers' first championship and the city's first title since 1964.

Now Griffin is the former general manager of the Cavaliers after the team announced Monday that his contract will not be renewed when it expires June 30.

The Cavaliers announced it was a mutual decision. The announcement coincided with the one-year anniversary of Cleveland's 93-89 victory over the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. The victory made the Cavaliers the first team to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the finals and was the city's first title since the Browns won the NFL championship in 1964.

"On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to thank Griffin for his leadership and many contributions during his time here, including most recently his role in the franchise's first NBA championship," Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert said in a statement.

The Cavaliers did not immediately name a replacement for Griffin, who reportedly could not agree with Gilbert on the team's future direction for roster construction.

Griffin took the job on an acting basis in February 2014 after Chris Grant was fired. He was named the permanent GM in May 2014 and his first moves were hiring David Blatt to coach and drafting Andrew Wiggins.

After the Cavaliers signed LeBron James in July 2014, he traded Wiggins to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love. He also acquired J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert from the New York Knicks in January 2015, fired Blatt on Jan. 22, 2016, due to a "lack of fit" and replaced him with Tyronn Lue.

According to reports, negotiations broke down despite James telling ESPN in April that Griffin deserved a new contract.

The move occurred as rumors surfaced about the Cavaliers attempting to get Paul George in a trade from the Indiana Pacers and Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls. Reports said the Cavaliers' front office encountered trouble in trade talks because of the uncertainty about Griffin.

According to the Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski, 2004 Finals MVP Chauncey Billups is a candidate for the job based on his relationship with Lue and Gilbert.

Whoever gets the job will become the fifth GM since Gilbert purchased the team in 2005. Gilbert inherited Jim Paxton and fired him in April 2005. Danny Ferry held the position from 2005 to 2010, coinciding with the team's first appearance in the NBA Final in 2007.

Ferry left the team about a month before James departed to Miami via free agency and like Griffin reportedly disagreed with Gilbert about the team's direction.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories