LeBron James got a long-term deal in Cleveland. So did Kevin Love. They locked up Kyrie Irving a while ago. Tyron Lue got a five-year contract. Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert signed multiyear deals. The Cavaliers have locked up their core.
Except for GM David Griffin. As was reported by ESPN a few weeks back, Griffin is working without a contract for next season. Griffin has the endorsement of LeBron and Lue, but that hasn’t gotten him a deal yet.
Now the Orlando Magic — who fired their GM Rob Hennigan after the season — may try to poach Griffin, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
The Orlando Magic’s search process for a new top basketball executive could extend until the end of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ playoff run, which would allow Orlando to gauge the interest of general manager David Griffin, league sources told The Vertical.
The Magic are researching multiple possible candidates to replace former GM Rob Hennigan, but the possibility of Griffin does intrigue Orlando president Alex Martins and top Magic officials, league sources said.
There are a few things to unpack here.
First, if I were Griffin’s agent, this is exactly the story I would want leaked. Even if Griffin would much rather stay in Cleveland, demand for his services will put pressure on Cleveland to make an offer, the kind befitting the GM of a title team.
Second, this would mean the Magic are willing to go through the draft with assistant GM Matt Lloyd running the show — the Magic are projected to have the No. 5 pick in the June draft and have a key chance to add a core piece to their young roster.
That roster already has some quality pieces — Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic, maybe Elfrid Payton — but has underachieved. Frank Vogel is locked in as coach, and the new GM needs to be able to work with him.
Most likely the Cavaliers will step up and offer Griffin a healthy contract after the season, but so long as he is not locked up, there will be other suitors lurking.