Maybe Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is a little star struck. Maybe he sees in a friend someone he thinks he can work better with.
Whatever the reason, after
firing coming to a “mutual agreement” to let walk one of the most respected general managers in the NBA in David Griffin, the focus for the Cavaliers GM job has turned to former NBA star and current ESPN analyst Chauncey Billups. Adrian Wojnarowski broke this part of the news, Brian Windhorst of ESPN had the latest.
Billups certainly knows the NBA game, but he has zero front office experience. What he has is a friendship with Gilbert and coach Tyronn Lue. From Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
Billups, a television analyst, has a strong relationship with Gilbert and Cavaliers coach Ty Lue. Gilbert and Billups, 40, became friendly in the former All-Star guard’s years with the Detroit Pistons. Billups has no front-office experience, but recently interviewed for the Atlanta Hawks GM job. His strong reputation as a leader has moved him into consideration to become a front-office executive.
Leadership in the locker room to leadership in the front office is not a transition everyone can make. Billups reportedly could be joined by Justin Zanik, the former Bucks assistant GM who looked like he would get that top job a week ago, until he didn’t. Zanik is experienced and is respected around the league.
Whether it’s Billups or someone else, the new GM faces serious challenges this summer. With the shadow of LeBron James leaving the franchise looming over the season. The new GM must find a way to upgrade an older, capped-out roster, adding athleticism and length, so it can compete with the more athletic Warriors.
Oh, and keep LeBron happy. And he wasn’t happy with the move in the firsts place.
GM of the Cavs is one of the toughest front office jobs in the NBA.
It’s a lot to ask of someone who has not been in the seat before. Dan Gilbert has rolled the dice and it’s a big gamble.