Leading those trade talks was Cavs general manager David Griffin, who has built a Finals roster around LeBron James for the past three years. Billups has a replationship with Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert and head coach Tyronn Lue.
James acknowledged the championship he strived for when he returned to Cleveland after his stint with the Miami Heat and expressed his appreciation for the general manager’s role in building a team that reached three straight NBA Finals.
The Cavs thanked Griffin for his leadership and many contributions during his stint as GM, including his role in the franchise’s first National Basketball Association title. “We got us 1 (trophy)”, wrote James on his Twitter account.
Griffin’s track record – headlined by James’ 2014 return, Cleveland’s 2016 title, and a second-place finish in the 2015 Executive of the Year race – speaks for itself.
Griffin’s tenuous situation with the Cavaliers made any potential blockbuster a bit awkward, with other teams inquiring about the GM’s future, according to The Vertical. He took over the role on a full-time basis after serving as an interim GM for three months following Chris Grant’s firing. ESPN.com reported Gilbert did not consult with the 32-year-old James on Griffin’s future with the organization.
The Cavaliers superstar has been vocal in his support for Griffin, whose contract was set to expire at the end of June. James came out publicly in April advocating for Griffin to be re-signed.
According to Wojnarowski, Billups could become the President of Basketball Operations (like Magic Johnson is in Los Angeles) and would make the hire for the suddenly vacant general manager position.
One has to wonder if Griffin and Gilbert disagreed on the major transaction the Cavs need to make this offseason to catch up to the Warriors.
If the Cavs had better planned the breakup, David Griffin could have had a legitimate shot at landing a job in the front offices of Atlanta, Orlando, and Milwaukee.