Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is nothing if not unpredictably predictable. He is known for making rash and odd decisions, and the firing of general manager David Griffin is perhaps Gilbert's oddest decision to date. It's left the team with a few unanswered questions.
After Gilbert publicly slammed Lebron James for leaving Cleveland for the Miami Heat, James forgave the owner, came back to Cleveland and helped the team win a championship. He also took the Cavs to three straight appearances in the NBA Finals and helped create a fan base who absolutely loves the team. None of that was enough to include James on the decision to relieve Griffin of his duties and the risk-taking owner decided to take another risk knowing that excluding James from the process may affect the superstar's willingness to extended with the team when his option comes due at the end of the 2017-18 season.
Lebron James was visibly unhappy about the decision and tweeted, "If no one appreciated you Griff I did, and hopefully all the people of Cleveland! Thanks for what u did for the team for 3 yrs! We got us 1(trophy)." There seems to be widespread speculation that the Cavs will start to fall apart, players will avoid the team and James will go to another organization when the opportunity presents itself.
If no one appreciated you Griff I did, and hopefully all the people of Cleveland! Thanks for what u did for the team for 3 yrs! We got us 1🏆— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 20, 2017
Gilbert has gone through four different general managers in his 12-year tenure as Cavaliers owner. Griffin was the architect behind finding surrounding pieces to play with James and Kyrie Irving and was elbow-deep in trade plans that would help the Cavs secure another player or two to compete next season.
After the Cavs were soundly beaten by the Golden State Warriors in this past season's NBA Finals, Griffin was looking to obtain a player like Paul George from the Indiana Pacers or Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls. These wouldn't have been easy transactions to facilitate and now they'll need to be made without Griffin's contributions.
PREVIOUSLY: CAVS WANT PAUL GEORGE, JIMMY BUTLER
This is also terrible timing in terms of the NBA Draft - it's Thursday and the Cavs had no picks, thus trades — which Griffin was at the center of — will now have to be handled by someone else.
Perhaps the most frustrating part for Griffin is not that he was let go, but that just weeks ago, teams were denied access to talk to him about open positions. He did not have a new contract in place and was free to explore his options. Instead, the Cavs denied teams access and Griffin worked tirelessly to help the organization up to the minute he was called and relieved of his duties.