LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers
After three straight trips to the NBA Finals, General Manager David Griffin decided to part ways with the Cleveland Cavaliers. With the Cavs replacing its “favorite” GM, will LeBron James leave next?
General manager David Griffin served the final year of his contract with the Cavaliers. Griffin had extensive talks with owner Dan Gilbert, but no agreement on an extension was reached. Gilbert thanked Griffin for his contributions, especially for his role in the Cavs’ first NBA championship title.
David Griffin doesn’t have the same vision as Dan Gilbert
As of now, it remains unknown if the decision has something to do with the Cavs’ failure to defend the title. According to ESPN, Griffin chose to leave the Cavaliers after realizing that Gilbert’s vision is different from his.
“I am extremely excited for my next challenge in the NBA, however Dan and I know now that [the Cavs] are a team built on largely on the concept of fit and are now at the point where the fit is not right for us to continue with one another,” Griffin said.
Griffin didn’t specify how his vision differs from Gilbert. However, in January, Griffin revealed his plan to maximize the remaining years of LeBron James. In the mid-season, they made numerous moves to improve the Cavs’ roster, including the acquisition of Kyle Korver, Deron Williams, and Derrick Williams.
Cavaliers give LeBron James a reason to leave
LeBron James was caught off guard with the sudden departure of GM David Griffin in Cleveland. “The King” was reportedly not consulted with the decision despite insisting that Griffin deserved a new deal.
“It makes no sense why he shouldn’t get an extension,” James told ESPN. “He’s pulled every move — he’s tried to make every move happen — to better this team to be able to compete for a championship. So we wouldn’t be in this position, obviously, without him and without the guys that are here — from the coaching staff to the players to Griff. He’s been a big piece of it.”
After the Cavs had failed to defend their title, James told Kyrie Irving that they’d be back next season. However, rumors that James will leave in 2018 for one of the two Los Angeles teams have been circulating. With the Cavs’ failure to retain David Griffin, “The King” may consider turning the rumor into a reality. Once James joins a new team, other Cavs’ players are also expected to leave since “The King” is the main reason why they stay in Cleveland.