Cavs owner, Billups meet about front-office job

In a statement, Cleveland Cavaliers Chairman Dan Gilbert said that the team and Griffin mutually chose to part ways. A person familiar with the talks says Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert met with former National Basketball Association star Chauncey Billups about a position in Cleveland's front office.

Outgoing GM David Griffin, who "mutually agreed" to not return after a conversation with owner Dan Gilbert, had a great relationship with LeBron James and was the architect of a team that made three straight NBA Finals.

Considering Griffin had presided over a wildly successful three-year term in Cleveland, it left many wondering what might be the Cavs' next move. Griffin's contract was up at the end of the month, but negotiations between the two sides broke down.

Griffin and Gilbert reportedly did not agree on a future direction for the Cavs' roster, which could be in major flux in the next few days based on several reports.

Griffin said in a statement that Cavs is a team built largely on fit, but at this point, the fit is no longer right for them to continue together.

Griffin became the 10th GM in Cavs history when he took over for Chris Grant on May 12, 2014, and immediately went to work remaking the roster, the ultimate results being an NBA Finals win over Golden State in 2016 and Finals losses to the Warriors in 2015 and '17. It seems as if the latter is more likely, per reports from Monday, with Billups hiring someone under him to run the day-to-day operations. The third overall pick in the 1997 draft, Billups played for seven teams during his 17-year career, most notably the Pistons, with whom he won an NBA Finals MVP award in 2004 while helping Detroit to a title.

Gilbert continued his trend of not renewing his GM's contracts, at a time when it seemed Griffin was the flawless man for the job ahead.

Chauncey Billups and the Cleveland Cavaliers have mutual interest in a front-office role for the retired National Basketball Association player, sources told ESPN's Brian Windhorst. "We got us 1 (trophy)", wrote James on his Twitter account.

Griffin, of course, was relieved of his duties with the Cavaliers before he could pull the trigger on any of these deals. The expectation is that Billups will hire an experienced GM to handle day-to-day duties. Hanging over everything in Cleveland is the possibility that James himself will leave the team in 2018, when he is expected to opt out of his contract.

  • Julie Sanders