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Report: Cavaliers GM David Griffin seeking ‘significant raise’

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The Cavaliers have a ticket straight to championship contention in LeBron James, but they could use roster upgrades.

Clearly.

The Kevin DurantStephen CurryDraymond GreenKlay Thompson Warriors feature a collection of talent unlike any we’ve ever seen, and Golden State could keep its wider core intact. The Warriors – up 2-0 in the NBA Finals – aren’t going anywhere for years to come.

So, who will try to fortify Cleveland’s roster for the challenge ahead?

Cavs general manager David Griffin is on an expiring contract, his future in Cleveland uncertain.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

Griffin will seek a significant raise — he’s made less than $2 million annually, according to sources, which is low, especially for the GM of a team that has played in the last three Finals and is a defending champion.

Griffin became general manager when the Cavaliers fired Chris Grant during the 2013-14 season. They removed Griffin’s interim label a few months later. So, it’s not surprising someone with that path to general manager is paid less than peers who won wider job searches.

But, since, Griffin has convinced Kyrie Irving to sign a contract extension, facilitated LeBron’s return to Cleveland, traded for Kevin Love and filled out a roster that has reached three straight Finals and won the 2016 title. Griffin deserves a raise.

Cavs owner Dan Gilbert reportedly denied the Magic and Hawks permission to speak with Griffin, which is Gilbert’s right but also particularly harsh if Gilbert doesn’t play to pay Griffin fairly himself. Gilbert can leverage every competitive advantage he holds, threatening to keep Griffin out of work next year. Most, if not all, openings will be filled by June 30, when the general manager’s contract expires. But it’s unbecoming to wreck someone’s livelihood like that, especially considering how much Griffin has done for Gilbert.

I don’t think Gilbert is that cold, and he’ll have an opportunity to prove it by retaining Griffin (which, not for nothing, would also probably be good for the franchise).

Phoenix Suns with quality solar eclipse joke on Twitter

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With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.

There were a couple of good ones, however.

Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.

One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.

Report: Other small-market teams championing Pacers’ tampering allegation against Lakers

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The NBA, at the Pacers’ request, is investigating whether the Lakers tampered by making impressible contact with Paul George.

Bob Kravitz of WTHR

In fact, there’s word that other small- and mid-market team officials have reached out to the Pacers and told them, “Good for you. Fight the good fight.”

Small-market teams whine too much about the disadvantages they face, but tampering isn’t really a market-size issue. Remember, under Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers were known as the only team that didn’t tamper.

The Lakers have advantages because George is from the area, and Los Angeles offers immense marketability. That’d be true whether or not they contacted George or his agent before he officially became a free agent.

I understand the desire to take down the big, bad Lakers – especially now that they appear poised to become truly big and bad again. But it’s hard to find a team that can cast a stone at them from anywhere other than a glass house.

Report: Clippers hiring ex-Cavaliers executive Trent Redden

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The power dynamics within the Clippers are shifting, and the ground apparently hasn’t settled yet.

Doc Rivers has been stripped of his presidency. Jerry West became a consultant. Lawrence Frank now holds the most prestigious title in the front office, and newly hired Michael Winger will report to him. Also falling under Frank in the organizational chart? Trent Redden.

Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:

Longtime Cleveland Cavaliers executive Trent Redden will join the LA Clippers’ front-office staff as assistant general manager, league sources said on Monday.

Redden was ousted in Cleveland with David Griffin. He’ll help the Clippers simply by providing another capable executive. They’ve long needed to add front-office employees (and pay for them).

But Redden also exacerbates the issue of Frank’s underlings having far more front-office experience than him. As the Clippers try to establish their new setup, we’ll see whether that creates complications.

Warriors’ Steve Kerr: I expect to coach all season and for many years ahead

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Warriors coach Steve Kerr has missed significant time the last two seasons due to complications from back surgery.

Could those issues derail his career?

Kerr, via Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle:

“I fully expect to coach all year,” Kerr says in a no-nonsense tone. “That’s my expectation. And for many years to come.”

On the most basic level, it’d be good if Kerr feels well enough to coach. The headaches sound miserable, regardless of his job.

But it’d also be ideal if the NBA didn’t lose one of its best coaches just as he’s getting started. The 51-year-old Kerr might wind up the greatest coach of all time. Obviously that’s a long way off, but he has that potential – health permitting.