Dan Gilbert made two mistakes this week. One, he parted ways with general manager David Griffin, and two, he didn’t consult LeBron James before doing so.
Why would Gilbert do that?
“I think Dan Gilbert doesn’t have a respect for general managers,” The Vertical’s Bobby Marks said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “I really don’t. I think he thinks you could roll a ball out there and let LeBron take you to the Finals every year. He’ll learn a lesson again next summer if their franchise player walks, which certainly is possible.”
After news broke of Griffin’s dismissal Monday, James tweeted, “If no one appreciated you Griff I did, and hopefully all the people of Cleveland! Thanks for what u did for the team for 3 yrs! We got us 1.”
Why would Griffin not consult the franchise player of all franchise players before making this decision?
“Well, that’s a Dan Gilbert question he’s going to need to answer,” Marks said. “He’s been pretty silent over the last couple days. I know he sent out a press release, but I don’t understand the rationale. I thought Griff should have been locked up after they won the championship last year in Oakland on the plane ride home.”
It’s easy to say that the Cavs’ recent success had more to do with James than Griffin, and that’s certainly fair. But Griffin still played an indispensable role in assembling the team – and hiring Tyronn Lue.
“(The) guy leads you to three NBA Finals, including a championship, yeah, I think that is a mistake (to let him go),” Marks said. “I think from a draft perspective, they’re sitting on the sidelines. They don’t have a pick in either round, and they don’t have money to buy. But there’s a lot of players in place. As you’ve seen in the last couple days, there’s a lot of movement here. Can you try to go get a Paul George? Probably not Jimmy Butler. Those are probably the discussions that Cleveland is talking about.”
Assistant general manager Koby Altman will remain with the team and is overseeing draft preparation and trade negotiations.
“I know Koby Altman,” Marks said. “I have a lot of respect for him. I think he’ll be fine going up to July 1. But they’ll need a strong voice when free agency starts.”
The Cavs are reportedly interested in George and Butler, though Butler is the tougher acquisition from a contract standpoint.
“It’s hard to pull a deal for Butler,” Marks said. “I know Kevin Love would have had to been in play, but to try to get a top-level lottery pick, top five, top six, I don’t think Kevin Love’s value is that right now. Where else on that roster can you move pieces? Tristan Thompson, I don’t know that that can give you a first. Maybe a decent role player, but they’re limited in assets as far as how they improve that team.”