It was just eight days ago that the Cleveland Cavaliers ended their reign as NBA Champions, losing The Finals to Golden State four games to one.
It was the third straight championship series appearance for the wine and gold, all guided by GM David Griffin.
Last night, word came out that Griffin and the team agreed to part ways mutually. This means that the now former GM and owner Dan Gilbert couldn’t come to some sort of agreement in regards to either the future of the franchise or how much power Griffin should have in determining what will happen in the future for the Cavs.
It has been reported that the departure of Griffin was concerning to the team’s resident superstar, LeBron James, who already has trust issues with the owner.
The most troubling thing about the change in the front office is no one knows who is making the decisions at Quicken Loans Arena now in a very critical time of the year for an NBA team.
This Thursday is the NBA Draft, and although the Cavaliers do not have a selection, it is also a period where moves that will effect next year’s roster are made.
The beginning of the free agent period is also dawning, and there is no one around to be making these key decisions, especially for a franchise with championship expectations.
It does not mean however, that Gilbert is planning a massive rebuild following next season. As long as James is here, the Cavs will be a contender. And although there are rumors from every place concerning where The King will play in 2018, if Cleveland wins another title next June, it is difficult to see James leaving.
And if Kyrie Irving is on the roster, it would be difficult to find another NBA roster that could sign James as a free agent, with as dynamic a player as Irving on the team.
This isn’t to say James will definitely not leave when his contract ends after next season, no one knows that except LeBron himself. However, if the Larry O’Brien Trophy comes back to the north coast, it would be odd for a player who wants titles to turn his back on a repeat chance.
Griffin did have an ability to take limited assets to turn them into players who could contribute, such as his deals for Kyle Korver and the signing of Deron Williams.
In the end though, the lack of athleticism on the bench cost the wine and gold against the Warriors.
Maybe Griffin wanted more veterans and Gilbert wanted more youth. Maybe Griffin wanted more offense and Gilbert wanted defense. Who knows? All we know is there will be plenty of speculation.
Before bashing ownership, we want to see who is brought in to run the show, and we will give them a chance before hammering, if merited.
Cleveland fans will always have a warm feeling for David Griffin, who was the architect of the first championship team in the city in 52 years. That doesn’t mean he is the only person with good basketball team building skills.
The new GM could wind up being a genius.
The problem with making the move now is it is difficult to find a good thing in being unsettled right now. And it looks like Gilbert is meddling again in basketball affairs, which is not a good thing.
The pressure regarding this move falls squarely on the owner. If things don’t work out, and James leaves after next year because he’s not happy with the direction of the Cavs, Gilbert will be vilified by the media and fans alike.
On the other hand, Gilbert hired David Griffin, and we know how that worked out.
Let’s see who takes over and how it turns out before pressing the panic button. It’s not the end of this successful run for the Cavaliers…yet.