Is LeBron’s tweet a jab at team owner Dan Gilbert, or was he simply showing admiration to David Griffin? The announcement coincided with the one-year anniversary of Cleveland’s 93-89 victory over the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals.
Cleveland Cavaliers Chairman Dan Gilbert released the following statement on Monday.
In any case, LeBron – who had lobbied for Gilbert to extend Griffin’s contract in recent months – unloaded a note of befuddlement on social media.
Cleveland’s new GM will have to improve a talented but top-heavy roster that includes a lot of aging players who lack athleticism and, most importantly, make staying with the Cavs enticing to James, who is nearly certain to opt out of his contract and become a free agent next summer. The announcement came exactly one year after the Cavaliers won their first National Basketball Association championship. The GM said: “I think at the point we’re at now, it’s what makes you 5-10-15 percent better?”
How this affects the status of LeBron James, who is still under contract with the Cavaliers through the 2017-’18 season, is unclear.
Earlier: First, we had a trade between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, with the Sixers getting the No. 1 overall pick.
Meanwhile, James LeBron, whose opinion is assumed to matter a lot to the Cleveland Cavaliers, was not consulted regarding the end of the deal between Griffin and Gilbert.
Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck said James was “disappointed” Griffin was out and “concerned” with what it means going forward for the team.
As James explained in a video from ESPN and Uninterrupted, he returned because he wanted to help the people of his native Northeast Ohio, even if it meant opposing the wishes of his wife and mother, who wanted no part of coming back because of Gilbert. Griffin was named the permanent GM in May 2014 and his first moves were hiring David Blatt to coach and drafting Andrew Wiggins. Griffin performed salary cap magic in order to work around the bloated salaries of Thompson and Smith, both of whom were paid above market value due to their relationship with James. Griffin also shrewdly made trades to bring in players such as J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, Timofey Mozgov, Kyle Korver, and Deron Williams. In a statement, Griffin said he was appreciative of the opportunity given to him by Gilbert.
Griffin, though, did not get an extension after the Cavs won the title past year and he essentially worked as a lame duck during a sometimes turbulent 2016-17 season.
When another front-office vacancy in Milwaukee was recently filled, Griffin lost some leverage in his attempt to get a raise.