Cleveland Cavaliers, David Griffin part ways after incredible run

Griffin was reportedly upset at not having been given a contract extension last summer, as Cleveland was coming off an unprecedented rally for its first title, and ESPN reported that the parting of ways came after "extensive talks" on a new pact.

FILE - In this May 15, 2017, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin speaks at a news conference in Cleveland.

Barely even 12 hours after news that Griffin would not be retained by the Cavaliers, there were reports the team had interest in former All-Star guard Chauncey Billups, who has been working with ESPN as an National Basketball Association analyst, and is good friends with Tyronn Lue. As of June 19, there were serious talks that the team had interest from the Indiana Pacers for their star forward Paul George or the Chicago Bulls for their star player, Jimmy Butler.

"Thanks for what u did for the team for 3 yrs!" the tweet said. After all, James was openly campaigning for a contract extension for Griffin, and with Griffin wanting a larger role with the organization after taking the Cavaliers to three Finals in as many years on the job.

Some had wondered if Billups would come in and be the general manager immediately, or will he become the President of Basketball Operations?

In moves to support a roster suddenly sparked by James, Griffin traded Wiggins to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a deal for Love and in January 2015 obtained J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert from the New York Knicks. Griffin was among the lowest paid top executives in the league, and while he didn't publicly complain about his salary, the fact that he wasn't rewarded by Gilbert was a large crack in a foundation that was splitting apart quickly.

76ERS GET: No. 1 overall pick this year.

The Cavs had a general manager that LeBron liked and trusted, and now that guy is gone.

The 47-year-old Griffin had been Cleveland's GM since May 2014.

The Magic in mid-May asked the Cavaliers permission to interview Griffin.

Griffin took the job on an acting basis in February 2014 after Chris Grant was sacked. If you want to read between the lines based on Gilbert's history, he simply did not value Griffin enough to retain him. And if Griffin's departure against The King's wishes was just the first domino to fall, there could be more shakeups in Cleveland in the near future.

When another front-office vacancy in Milwaukee was recently filled, Griffin lost some leverage in his attempt to get a raise.

  • Julie Sanders