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It’s official: Cleveland Cavaliers fire GM Chris Grant

Feb 6, 2014, 2:07 PM EDT

0110-chris-grant-300

UPDATE 2:07 p.m.: The Cleveland Cavaliers have confirmed the report, they have fired general manager Chris Grant. David Griffin, who had been an assistant to Grant, will step in as the interim GM.

“This has been a very difficult period for the franchise,” Owner Dan Gilbert said in a released statement. “We have severely underperformed against expectations. Just as this is completely unacceptable to our loyal and passionate fan base, season ticket holders and corporate partners, it is also just as unacceptable to our ownership group. I can assure everyone who supports and cares about the Cleveland Cavaliers that we will continue to turn over every stone and explore every possible opportunity for improvement to shift the momentum of our franchise in the right direction. There is no one in our entire organization who is satisfied with our performance, and to say that we are disappointed is an understatement. We all know the great potential of our young talent, seasoned veterans, as well as our recent all-star addition. We believe a change in leadership was necessary to establish the best possible culture and environment for our entire team to flourish.

“There is no move, nor any amount of capital investment, we will not make if we believe it will improve our chances of competing and winning in this league for both the short and long term. The fans of this great city have invested too much time, money and effort for the kind of product we have recently delivered to them. This must change.”

1:03 p.m.: Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert made it public last June, standing on the stage at the NBA Draft Lottery where his Cavaliers had once again gotten the top pick in the draft — he said he was tired of being at the lottery, he wanted to make the playoffs next season.

Instead the Cavaliers are an absolute mess. A tire fire. At 16-33 they have lost 8-of-9, have a bottom 10 offense and defense, have serious chemistry issues in the locker room, have a coach in Mike Brown who clearly doesn’t have the players attention, and Wednesday night the Cavs lost at home to a Lakers team that had dropped seven in a row, was on the second night of a back-to-back and by the end of the game only had four legally eligible players they could put on the court.

This organization needs a complete and total shake up and that started Thursday when the team fired GM Chris Grant, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Gilbert had grown increasingly frustrated with the losing and dysfunction within the Cavaliers and the loss to the Lakers – who finished the game with four eligible players – was the breaking point…

Grant had a reputation as a hard-working executive, but failed to construct an infrastructure of talent to return the Cavaliers to the playoffs for the first time since LeBron James left as a free agent in 2010.

Current assistant GM David Griffin is expected to become Cavs’ interim GM, Wojnarowski reports.

This firing was coming for a while.

Grant has been the guy in charge of building this roster after LeBron James bolted town. He had one shining smart move, drafting Kyrie Irving. Which with the top pick in that draft was a no brainer.

But look at his other top picks — Tristan Thompson is a potential rotation player out of the No. 4 spot; Dion Waiters shot up the board late and was the No. 4 pick taken in front of Damian Lillard and Andre Drummond; and the pick of Anthony Bennett at No. 1 last season was a surprising reach at the time that has yet to pay off at all.

Grant brought in Mike Brown, who has had about as much attention and control over this team as your high school substitute history teacher did over your class. Mike Brown’s seat just got insanely hot, he may survive this season but it’s hard to see him lasting beyond this summer.

Grant rolled the dice on Andrew Bynum, but that came up snake eyes. Grant made the trade to bring in Luol Deng to turn this season around in Cleveland. Not only has that not worked, Deng was reportedly dismayed at what he saw in the locker room.

What is wrong in Cleveland is not easily fixed. It’s going to require a good general manager and a few years.

They still have the All-Star Irving — while his progression slowed this season (thanks again, Mike Brown) he is still potentially an elite point guard who can be a franchise cornerstone with the right guidance. He is not bolting — he will take the guaranteed huge money of his first post rookie-deal contract (just as LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony and every other star who eventually bolted town did). They have time to build something around him and keep him in town.

Grant being fired was the first step in that process.

  1. bucrightoff - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    And yet Mike Brown is still employed.

    • andyhr17 - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:37 PM

      A 5 year $20 million contract is why he’s still there. That’s a lot of money to pay out in addition to admitting it was a terrible hire to begin with.

      • franchiseplaya - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:45 PM

        And I believe the Cavs are STILL paying Byron Scott too!

      • andyhr17 - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:53 PM

        That’s how things are done in Cleveland. Most of the teams have 2-3 coaches on the books at any given time. Terry Francona is pushing his luck going into year 2.

      • patsfan92 - Feb 6, 2014 at 5:38 PM

        lol the lakers are still paying him too

      • asimonetti88 - Feb 6, 2014 at 9:50 PM

        The Lakers aren’t paying Brown anymore.

  2. bougin89 - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    “Grant rolled the dice on Andrew Bynum, but that came up snake eyes.”

    This should be noted as one of the few positive moves he’s made. Bynum’s contract was constructed to be a perfect trade chip. That non guaranteed expiring deal resulted in Deng.

    The Cavs had the perfect opportunity to build through the draft with so many high lottery picks the last few seasons. Grant failed the Cavs miserably, especially with the Bennett pick but that might not even be his worst GM decision. Hiring Mike Brown was ridiculous.

    Grant absolutely deserved to be fired.

    • nflcrimerankingscom - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:24 PM

      I think his worst move was signing Jarrett Jack Up Long 2 Pointers.

      • stayhigh_247 - Feb 6, 2014 at 5:52 PM

        Wrong, Jarret Jack thrived in Mark Jacksons system, Mike Brown can’t coach. He would find a way to lose with Jordan in his prime.

  3. bballhistorian - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    http://www.FireMikeBrownAgain.com

  4. nflcrimerankingscom - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    Yeah, Grant, if only you would have drafted Jonas Valanciunas (said he wouln’t play for Cavs) and Lillard (uh redundant PG), then the Cavs would be so much better.

    Even Helin’s hindsight picks are turrible.

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 6, 2014 at 3:47 PM

      Instead of Tristan Thompson the Cavs could have (and I’m not including PGs or your boy Jonas here):
      Klay Thompson
      Kawhi Leonard
      Nikola Vucevic
      Iman Shumpart
      Tobias Harris
      Kenneth Faried
      Chandler Parsons

      Instead of Dion Waiters the Cavs could have (not including PGs):
      Thomas Robinson
      Terrence Ross
      Andre Drummond
      Jeremy Lamb
      John Henson
      Tyler Zeller
      Terrence Jones
      Andrew Nicholson
      Jared Sullinger
      Draymond Green
      Kyle O’Quinn

      Instead of Anthony Bennett the Cavs could have (not including PGs again):
      Anyone

      • bougin89 - Feb 6, 2014 at 5:24 PM

        Nice work.

      • nflcrimerankingscom - Feb 6, 2014 at 8:37 PM

        Nice cherry-picking. The first group is spread well across the entire draft, not clustered in nearby picks. You could say most GM’s effed up equally then.

        As for the 2nd group, well none you have listed have shown any clear separation from Waiters as a better pick.

      • asimonetti88 - Feb 6, 2014 at 9:48 PM

        sooooo…. basically you’d rather have Tristan Thompson than Klay Thompson? Because Klay was picked later in the draft?

      • imthewiz77 - Feb 7, 2014 at 12:43 AM

        Funny that you would list Zeller, not only is he not better than Waiters but they drafted him anyway.

      • coachjac30 - Feb 7, 2014 at 4:12 PM

        hindsight is always 20/20

  5. abchome - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Too bad they can’t fire the owner as well!

  6. adoombray - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    Remember this the next time anyone wants to criticize a team for trying to win ballgames and not tank. It’s really really easy to lose. Rebuilding with the pieces that you might get that might work out is really hard. This isn’t video games where every rookie comes in usable and you just play him and he automatically gets better. Tanking is never worth it. It only worked in OKC because Durant is a once every 5-10 years player and they nailed the Westbrook pick too. Even then, we have to stop the conversation there because of the horrible Harden trade.

    • dadawg77 - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:44 PM

      Disagree that it isn’t worth it. While it isn’t automatic, you can’t win it all without a top player. In today’s world, most teams need to clear cap room or land a lottery pick for that player. If another lottery pick worked for Cleveland than Grant would be heralded as the wonder-kid gm.

      Middle first round road picks and lower end free agents can build a good team but would be lucky to hit the conference finals. More likely to end up in NBA hell, not good enough to contend but to good for any hope for improvement needed to win it all.

      • adoombray - Feb 6, 2014 at 2:11 PM

        The Indiana Pacers. You know. The team that has been a few bad bounces away from their own title runs consistently over the last 3 years? seem to be doing just fine by coming up with a cohesive vision, a strong coaching staff, and “middle first round picks and lower”.

        Oh, and, The San Antonio Spurs. Yayayaya, Duncan was a high pick but, that team won its titles with “middle first round picks and lower end free agents”. It’s mastery of late round picks and stashing guys overseas combined with cohesive vision and good coaching is why they are who they are.

        The Lakers didn’t have to tank for 30 years either. Kobe Bryant was a “middle first round pick” and look how that worked out for them. (Kobe needed 2-3 years of seasoning before he became who is who he is too. They drafted their guy and stuck with him and the results spoke for themselves).

        It is a video game illusion that you can just click “sim the rest of the season” and go to your draft picks later. The chances of a mediocre coach managing an established roster to success (Even MIKE BROWN was okay in LA until the roster fell apart) are much greater than just saying “screw it we will lose and hope for the best”

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 6, 2014 at 3:54 PM

      It’s less about where you pick and more about who you have running the organization. Well run organizations can win no matter where you put them. Even look to the Seattle Shehawks in the NFL, the big names on their team like Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson and Kam Chancellor were not even first round draft picks.

  7. gameisours - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    That is as surprising news as ‘Lebron knows he can sing anywhere’.

    • antistratfordian - Feb 6, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      Except at #BATTIOKE

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 6, 2014 at 3:59 PM

      What can he sing?

  8. nycalldayz - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    The Cavs actually did the Chris Grant a favor.

  9. nycalldayz - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    The Cavs actually did Chris Grant a favor.

  10. cantonbound13 - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    Trade Kyrie

  11. losanginsight - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    Laker fans it could be worse. Imagine for a split second any being a cavs fans? Then think about actually having to live in Cleveland. It could be worse.

  12. clownsfan - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    Long overdue. I knew Grant was done when he re-hired that turd Mike Brown.

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 6, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      Thanks for taking his salary off the Lakers.

      • bigmeechy74 - Feb 6, 2014 at 4:11 PM

        yeah cuz the lakers are hurting for money. that’s their main concern. getting out from under their former coach’s contract. whew bullet dodged

      • asimonetti88 - Feb 6, 2014 at 5:10 PM

        Does anyone want to pay someone to do nothing? I didn’t think so.

  13. franchiseplaya - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    I cant remember where I heard it but I was under the impression Grant was the only front office guy OPPOSED to taking Bennett.

    • adoombray - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:45 PM

      if thats the case then he didn’t have a general manager job in the first place. I hope, for the sake of my Aunt from Cleveland and all Cavs fans everywhere, that this isn’t just some whitewash sacrificial firing.

      I’m sure Dan Gilbert will be blogging about it soon enough

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 6, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      Well seeing as he’s the GM he could have just gone ahead and, you know, not drafted him.

      • coachjac30 - Feb 7, 2014 at 4:13 PM

        not when the owner of the team is the one that wants to draft Bennett

  14. bballhistorian - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Reading on the cavs…this is what I think: they can get a good gm, and even a good coach. But I think at the end of the day they are going to realize that kyrie isn’t as good as ppl say hes out to be. His fame was pretty much handed to him (played nearly 10 games as duke, came in to save franchise after their former king left). I think kyrie’s peak in leading the team will be 1st round (maybe 2nd) in the EAST! He needs to either get another star on his team, or do what Bron did and jump ship (well, get traded, since dan Gilbert already said hes never letting an all star become a free agent again)

  15. obmig - Feb 6, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Don’t be so sure that Kyrie isn’t bolting

  16. ohioteamsusuallysuck - Feb 6, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    I saw that coming

    Stevie Wonder

  17. detectivejimmymcnulty - Feb 6, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    If/when Kyrie becomes a restricted free agent the Cavs can mach any offer but Kyrie can take a one year deal for a lower salary and sign anywhere, correct? If that’s the case after that one year would Kyrie then be eligible to sign the 5 year max with that team or would his contract size be limited due to accepting the one year offer? Huge risk since Kyrie has been hurt alot, but if he knows he wants to leave anyway getting the 5 year max could be worth it.

    • spursareold - Feb 6, 2014 at 5:54 PM

      Only Cleveland can give him 5 years. The good news is that their other picks suck so bad there will be no contention for the one 5 year contract that each team can give like their was in OKC with Westbrook/Harden.

      I can only remember 2 players signing their year 5 qualifying option to be an unrestricted FA: Rasho Nesterovic and Michael Olowokandi. It almost never happens because of the injury risk. What players do is sign a 4 year deal, with a year 3 opt out, after year 4. If you can’t build around a player in 7 years, you deserve to have them walk out on you.

  18. clesportsfan - Feb 6, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    Mike Brown your cars seat heater just got turned to high

  19. southbeachtalent - Feb 6, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    So how many championships were the Cavs going to win with out LeBron? Snyder is a clown, it baffles the mind that he’s been so successful in the business arena…

    • cantonbound13 - Feb 6, 2014 at 4:57 PM

      It’s Gilbert, not Snyder. Understandable coming from a Heat bandwagon fan. After all, you just started watching the NBA 3 years ago.

  20. jolink653 - Feb 6, 2014 at 3:43 PM

    I think the problem Cleveland has and has had for the past few seasons is the lack of a veteran presence in the locker room to take charge of these rookies and young players to keep them in line. Deng seemed like a Hail Mary kind of trade to salvage the season and maybe provide that veteran to keep things in line, but clearly he wants no part of this team.

    Cleveland’s problems start at the top and they involve the entire franchise. I think Waiters absolutely needs to be traded, and they need to hope Bennett develops quickly into a quality player, otherwise that will set them back a couple years. Mike Brown needs to go in favor of an older, more heavy-handed coach who is not afraid to get in his players’ faces and tell them how things are gonna be done. There’s a lot of talent on the roster if they can change the culture of the team

    • coachjac30 - Feb 7, 2014 at 1:47 AM

      I agree with you about the lack of veteran presence, but as far as the “older, heavy handed coach who is not afraid to get in his players’ faces”, that doesn’t work in the NBA anymore. The players are getting paid 5x what a coach makes in most instances, what would force them to then listen to the coach.

      Look across the NBA now and your most successful teams are coached by “players” coaches. Spoelstra, Rivers, Jackson, Brooks, Vogel. Even Popovich isn’t one of those “kick you in the ass” type coaches (regardless of how he seems in his sideline interviews).

      The first problem with the organization is the meddling that Gilbert does. Then their inability to get a quality coach (who was their last good quality coach, Fratello?). Followed by their poor drafting and team building.

  21. phillysports1 - Feb 6, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    As a Sixers fan I wouldn’t mind a trade for Bennett . Give turner for Bennett and a draft pick …..

  22. phillysports1 - Feb 6, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    As a Sixers fan I wouldn’t mind a trade for Bennett . Give turner for Bennett and a draft pick …..

  23. phillysports1 - Feb 6, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    As a Sixers fan I wouldn’t mind a trade for Bennett . Give turner for Bennett and a draft pick …..

  24. phillysports1 - Feb 6, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    As a Sixers fan I wouldn’t mind a trade for Bennett . Give turner for Bennett and a draft pick …..

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 6, 2014 at 4:02 PM

      You can say that four times over.

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 6, 2014 at 4:02 PM

      You can say that four times over.

      • asimonetti88 - Feb 6, 2014 at 4:03 PM

        I can say it twice.

  25. sfsugator - Feb 6, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    he is by far the worst G.M. in the league by far. they better trade kyrie because that dude is gonna bounce anyway.

    • spursareold - Feb 6, 2014 at 5:59 PM

      You should use the past tense of the verb. ‘Was’ instead of ‘is’. He was fired, after all, so it’s not possible that he is the worst GM in the league, since he isn’t one any more.

      • asimonetti88 - Feb 6, 2014 at 6:50 PM

        Perhaps he was referring to his fantasy league.

      • chiadam - Feb 6, 2014 at 6:55 PM

        What’s the correct tense for “go f*** youself”?

        Oh wait, that’s it. So go f*** yourself.

      • sfsugator - Feb 6, 2014 at 8:59 PM

        Riggghhhhhttttttttttt

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