Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert released a statement on Monday evening announcing that David Griffin is out as general manager of the three-time defending Eastern Conference champions.
Gilbert said Griffin and the team “mutually decided” to not extend his contract that is set to expire at the end of June.
One person who was not in on the decision was LeBron James, despite his reputation for always having a hand in personnel decisions, even beyond players.
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, Gilbert did not consult with LeBron about the move.
Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today later added that James was “surprised” by the decision to part ways with Griffin.
In April, James publicly declared his support for Griffin.
“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.”
According to several reports, the uncertainty of Griffin’s future was causing problems with recent trade talks.
“Cavs front office had difficulty in trade talks this week, constantly needing to address Griffin’s future with rival executives,” Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical wrote on Twitter. “Tough spot.”
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