Aug 28, 2014, 2:50 PM EDT
The No. 1 reason LeBron James signed with the Cavaliers is because he was born in Northeast Ohio. The No. 1 reason Kevin Love approved a trade to the Cavaliers was because LeBron had already signed.
So, Cleveland’s great offseason was set in motion for reasons outside the Cavaliers’ control.
But general manager David Griffin still cleared the cap space necessary to sign LeBron and organized the Love trade (though luck, winning the lottery, played a huge role their too). The amount is debatable, but Griffin deserves credit – and he nearly lost his authority before the offseason began.
Griffin became interim general manager in February and permanent general manager in May. In June, the Cavaliers pursued Kentucky coach John Calipari to become team president, which would have usurped Griffin’s authority.
Fortunately for the Cavaliers, Calipari turned them down, allowing Griffin to oversee one of the best offseasons of all-time. Maybe things would have gone as well with Calipari, but it’s hard to believe they could have gone any better.
So, Griffin could be telling Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and vice chairman Nate Forbes “I told you so.” In hindsight, Cleveland probably should have just stuck with Griffin all along.
Instead, Griffin is taking the high road.
Griffin on The Doug Gottlieb Show (hat tip: James Herbert of Eye on Basketball):
To be honest with you, I don’t think anything was ever done without my knowledge of what was being done, for one. And two, I turned down opportunities to be a GM before because the fit wasn’t right
And when I sat with Dan and Nate, when we talked about our vision for the future and me having this job, I encouraged them to talk to other people. It was something that was really important to me.
I would have talked to John Calipari if I was them. I would have been disappointed if they didn’t. So, it didn’t bother me in the least.
Just as I was beginning to trust Griffin’s judgment, he implies Calipari is fit to run an NBA team. If I were searching for a team president, not interviewing Calipari sure wouldn’t disappoint me.
But hopefully, Griffin is just showcasing another skill essential for an NBA general manager – pleasing the owner.
Owners often get blamed for interfering with general managers, but part of the general manager’s job as successfully managing the owner. Defending Gilbert’s chase of Calipari could help Griffin do that.
There’s not another good reason to defend your boss pursuing a lesser candidate in order to demote you.
Jul 7, 2015, 7:42 PM EDT
Villanueva will back up Dirk Nowitzki as floor-spreading power forward
Jul 7, 2015, 6:46 PM EDT
Clippers having a nice offseason – minus that one move that defines their offseason
Jul 7, 2015, 6:08 PM EDT
The one-year deal keeps their cap space alive next summer to chase Kevin Durant.
Jul 7, 2015, 5:45 PM EDT
Dallas had a good July, too.
Jul 7, 2015, 5:15 PM EDT
The Knicks and Magic essentially swap reserve centers.
Jul 7, 2015, 4:35 PM EDT
“Listen, we had one priority this summer, and that was to re-sign DJ, and we missed out on that.” — J.J. Redick on the Clippers summer.
Jul 7, 2015, 4:10 PM EDT
The Bulls are getting the band back together.
Jul 7, 2015, 3:25 PM EDT
The Lakers were not free agency losers like some think.
Jul 7, 2015, 3:06 PM EDT
Look for the Warriors to waive Wallace using the stretch provision.
Jul 7, 2015, 2:44 PM EDT
Julius Randle, L.A.’s first round pick last year, missed the Summer League opener due to a contract issue.
Jul 7, 2015, 1:57 PM EDT
Exum looked great, the injury did not.
Jul 7, 2015, 1:05 PM EDT
The reigning Sixth Man of the Year signed a free agent deal with the Lakers.
Dwyane Wade cites his scoring average when asked how long he’ll continue to play: ‘I think I’ll stay around a while’
Jul 7, 2015, 12:15 PM EDT
Wade was the third leading scorer in the East last season, but missed 20 games due to a combination rest and injury.
Jul 7, 2015, 11:31 AM EDT
Teams aren’t allowed to discuss deals during the moratorium period, which is still going on.
Jul 7, 2015, 10:52 AM EDT
KG will be back for a record 21st NBA season.
Jul 7, 2015, 10:40 AM EDT
Cleveland just added Mo Williams, but Smith (and Matthew Dellavedova) will likely be back.
Jul 7, 2015, 9:55 AM EDT
The 12th overall pick hasn’t practiced with the Jazz, and remains unsigned. But the GM says “No worries.”
Jul 7, 2015, 9:15 AM EDT
Okafor had some impressive moments.
Jul 7, 2015, 8:30 AM EDT
This is the kind of thing that all that new television revenue should go to.
Jul 7, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT
All I have ever argued about LeBron’s legacy is that you can’t compare it right now to Magic or Jordan or Bird or whoever because he’s still playing at the peak of his game.
- PBT Extra: Spurs lead Texas winners in NBA Free Agency 0
- J.J. Redick: Clippers deserve “F” for free agency after losing DeAndre Jordan 15
- PBT Podcast: Free agency’s winners and losers 0
- Report: Boston Celtics agree to trade for David Lee for Gerald Wallace 13
- Report: Kevin Garnett to re-sign with Timberwolves 16
- Report: Mo Williams signing with Cavaliers for most of their MLE 23
- Report: Cavaliers, Clippers discussing Jamal Crawford for Brendan Haywood trade 26
- Reports: David West agrees to veteran minimum deal to play for Spurs 80