Irving had wanted to discuss the trade scenarios with the ownership and management at the end of the NBA Finals, league sources said, but that meeting was difficult to set with David Griffin on the way out and with Koby Altman coming into focus as GM in only the past seven to 10 days.
More Rumors in this Storyline
Jason Lloyd: More Cavs news: Cap expert Tony Leotti was fired today, sources told The Athletic. Meanwhile, Mike Gansey expected to be named assistant GM
The Cleveland Cavaliers are finalizing a deal to promote Koby Altman to general manager, league sources told ESPN. A formal announcement to announce the promotion of Altman from assistant general manager to GM is expected soon, league sources said.
Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert has been closing on the Altman promotion for weeks now, turning his focus to him in the wake of Chauncey Billups turning down an offer to become president of basketball operations, league sources told ESPN.
Altman is expected to pursue a top-level, experienced assistant GM to join him in the Cavaliers front office, league sources said. Front-office executive Mike Gansey is expected to be promoted to an assistant general manager role, too, league sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: After extended talks, the hiring of Koby Altman as Cleveland’s new GM is imminent, league sources tell ESPN. Altman was Cavs’ assistant GM.
As USA TODAY Sports reported earlier in the week, LeBron James is frustrated by Cleveland’s quiet offseason and the departure of two of the team’s top front-office executives, general manager David Griffin and vice president of basketball operations Trent Redden, before the draft and free agency.
Most people in Las Vegas expect Koby Altman, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ interim general manager after David Griffin and Trent Redden left the organization last month, to eventually have the interim tag removed from his title. Altman is well-liked and well-respected within the league and would be deserving of the job. That said, he’d be inheriting a very difficult task.
LeBron James, the NBA’s most powerful player and biggest star who brought the Cleveland Cavaliers their first NBA championship, is concerned about the Cavaliers’ offseason, a person close to the situation told USA TODAY Sports.
Gilbert’s decision left the Cavs without the franchise’s top two front-office execs at a critical time, and it left James frustrated and concerned about the team’s ability to put together a roster that can better compete with Golden State, the person with direct knowledge of James’ thinking told USA TODAY Sports. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.
Meanwhile, the Cavs also missed out on bringing Chauncey Billups in to run the front office. When Gilbert announced Griffin would not be back with the team, he said in a statement, “We are confident our current front office will continue to aggressively explore and pursue opportunities to improve our team in the weeks ahead.” According to a person familiar with the Cavs’ front office, Gilbert is continuing the process of evaluating the leadership roles, structure and potential candidates. He feels the current group in the room has been impressive and done a very good job in the short term as they have continued to take important steps to position the team for success. That group will continue to focus on that and Gilbert is confident this process will result in creating the strong leadership the team needs and expects, the person told USA TODAY Sports on Monday. The person was not authorized to speak publicly on the issue and requested anonymity.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Dan Gilbert met Cavs assistant GM Koby Altman for dinner in Las Vegas on Monday and discussed future of front office, sources tell ESPN.
Billups could’ve been Cleveland’s president of basketball operations, and Lue’s boss. It could have been a conflict of interest for Billups, who would’ve had to view Lue’s job performance critically. “I talked to him about the situation,” Lue said. “Any time you get the chance to advance, be the president and GM, it’s always something great. I know it’s something he always wanted to do. “But I just kind of stayed out of the situation because I was so close to Griff, so close to Chauncey, so I didn’t want anything to do with it.”
The Cleveland Cavaliers offered Chauncey Billups what is viewed in NBA circles as a below-market salary of $2 million annually for the role of serving as president of basketball operations, league sources told ESPN. According to sources, the team’s initial offer was $1.5 million. League sources told ESPN that $4 million is typically the starting point of what an individual in that role should earn.
Sources maintain that financial compensation wasn’t the only reason Billups turned down the job on Monday after weeks of deliberation, but it played a part. Cleveland is known for its unwillingness to pay top dollar for front-office leadership. Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka had no prior front-office experience, and he is believed to be making $5 million annually.
Marc J. Spears: To be clear, @1MrBigShot declined comment when asked about the Cavaliers offer and was not a source. twitter.com/chrisbhaynes/s…
The Cleveland Cavaliers offered former NBA All-Star Chauncey Billups what is viewed in NBA circles as a below-market salary of $2 million annually for the role of serving as President of Basketball Operations, league sources told ESPN.
According to sources, the team’s initial offer was $1.5 million. League sources tell ESPN $4 million is typically the starting point of what an individual in that role should earn. Sources maintain financial compensation wasn’t the only factor as to why the 40-year-old Billups turned down the job on Monday after weeks of deliberation, but it played a part.
Jeff Zillgitt: Making Chauncey Billups’ decision not to take Cavs front office job a tad easier, he received more money from ESPN, I’m told. To be clear, ESPN gave Chauncey Billups a raise — not more money from ESPN than Cavs offered. My apologies for awkward treat.
Chauncey Billups has withdrawn from consideration for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ president of basketball operations job, league sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Billups had met twice last week with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert about a future with the club. They have known each other for a decade, and Gilbert is looking for someone to oversee the Cavaliers’ front office after general manager David Griffin parted ways with the team following three straight trips to the NBA Finals.
“I have great respect for Dan Gilbert and the Cleveland Cavaliers, and I greatly appreciate the discussions we had regarding their organization,” Billups told ESPN. “As I have conveyed before, ultimately I would like to lead a team’s basketball operation and be a part of a successful franchise. But presently, the timing just isn’t right to delve into that role in Cleveland. In the meantime, I will continue to focus on broadcasting and my other business endeavors.”
Billups, who will continue in his role as an ESPN NBA analyst, confirmed that he informed Gilbert of his decision on Monday. A source told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman that staffing concerns and money disparity were factors in Billups’ decision to drop out of the running.
Ice Cube: Once a Baller always a Baller! @1MrBigShot passes on the Cavs for @thebig3. Watch him rain 4’s tonight on FS1 (ch 219) 8pm est – 5pm pst.
ESPN Cleveland: Brian Windhorst on Chauncey Billups and the possibility of him coming to Cleveland: “It’s pretty clear he’s moving on.”
Chauncey Billups played in his first Big3 event Sunday, the second of 10 weeks the 3-on-3 event will be played in cities across the country. The first week? He missed that one for another job opportunity that he’s still “pondering.”
Billups said Sunday there’s “no new news” on whether he will accept a position as president of basketball operations for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but there should be soon. “I’m still in the process of thinking it over,” he said. “That will probably be done at some point in the next few days, but nothing to report.”
“The whole Cleveland thing just kind of jumped off,” Billups said. “I didn’t really want to take away from the first game, the first-ever professional Big 3 3-on-3 game, and (have) everybody want to talk just about Cleveland. I, of course, wanted to play. But I didn’t want to take away from the event.”
The choice by James to be a bystander comes at a fragile time for the team, which is navigating free agency without a general manager in place after parting ways with David Griffin nearly two weeks ago. Assistant GM Koby Altman has been elevated to the de facto interim GM while Cleveland continues to negotiate with Chauncey Billups to accept a position to run the front office.
A person familiar with the situation says Chauncey Billups hasn’t made a decision about joining the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ front office. Billups is weighing several factors and remains unsure if he wants to lead the Cavaliers’ basketball operations, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because of the sensitive nature of the talks.
David Aldridge: Chauncey Billups still “status quo” regarding Cavs’ GM offer. No decision imminent as of this morning.
The Cavs are still in discussions with Chauncey Billups to lead Cleveland’s front office after the departure of David Griffin. They’re also remaining active in the trade market, with a host of remaining front-office personnel, including Koby Altman, an assistant GM under Griffin, working the phones.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Talks between Cleveland and Chauncey Billups for President of Basketball Ops job still ongoing, no immediate resolution expected.
Meanwhile, the Cavs are waiting on Chauncey Billups. I’ve been told Billups has been seeking a general manager’s job for about a year. Not sure about the hold up. Most people in the NBA expect Billups to be the Cavs next GM. I keep hearing the name George David as a possible Billups assistant.
Keith Britton: Rip Hamilton on Chauncey Billups #Cavs: “I spoke to him this morning. He’s very excited. I know he has a couple more meetings w/ Dan”
Brian Mahoney: For what it’s worth, Chauncey Billups still listed as playing captain of the Killer 3s ahead of Sunday debut of @thebig3.
Owner Dan Gilbert’s search to replace general manager David Griffin, who parted ways with the team Monday, is not yet resolved as talks with former NBA star Chauncey Billups have not progressed to a job offer. Two people familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press on Thursday that Gilbert has not yet extended a contract proposal to Billups for a prominent role in his front office.
Gilbert met on consecutive days this week with Billups, who aspires to be an NBA executive, but they have not moved beyond talks, said the people who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks.
Ice Cube is backpedaling on that whole Chauncey Billups to the Cavs thing — saying CB is still with the BIG3 league because the NBA deal isn’t officially done yet. “Right now he with us until I hear something different,” Cube tells TMZ Sports … “Yesterday I opened my big mouth and it wasn’t done yet.”
ESPN Cleveland: Windy on Billups: “He’s conflicted about it because of family. He’s not conflicted because he’s worried about LeBron leaving.”
Owner Dan Gilbert has offered Chauncey Billups a five-year contract to head up the Cavaliers front office, but Billups has yet to accept, sources with knowledge of the talks told The Athletic. The two spent all day Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena, where Billups was introduced to a number of the executives who would be working under him, one source with knowledge of the meeting told The Athletic. It was the second consecutive day of meetings between Gilbert and Billups.
Sam Amick: As @JasonLloydNBA reported, Cavs offer Chauncey Billups to run basketball ops but he hasn’t decided. Two factors I’m told he has pondered. 1) LeBron could leave next summer in free agency 2) Cavs coach Ty Lue is a close friend & prospect of being objectively critical isn’t easy
Numerous sources close to the Cavs expect Billups to eventually take the job — which will likely carry the title of “vice president” and may include an org chart that has a GM working under Billups — but as of Wednesday evening there was no agreement or no formal offer.
That’s when Cube brought up Chauncey … and maybe broke some news?! “It was the Killer 3’s (led by Chauncey and Stephen Jackson) for a minute but since Chauncey took that job, it might change.”
Chauncey has actually been rumored to be in the running for the open GM job in Cleveland. Can you see him in that type of role whether it’s with the Cavs or another team? Paul Pierce: Yeah, actually me and Chauncey talked about that before. He said he wanted to be in a front office and I think he will be great. He’s young, he’s smart, he’s been a champion in this league and I just think that players can relate to Chauncey, like when he has a free agent meeting or things of that nature. I always thought he would be good in that type of position because of his IQ for the game and what he can bring to the table.
A day after Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert interviewed Chauncey Billups for a front office position following general manager David Griffin’s departure, Gilbert and Billups convened for a second meeting, sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN on Wednesday.
Billups, 40, is the only candidate to have interviewed thus far for the vacancy at GM created Monday when Gilbert and Griffin walked away from what had become contentious contract extension negotiations.
Richard Jefferson says the Cavaliers players were “shocked” to hear Cleveland was parting ways with general manager David Griffin late Monday night. Griffin shepherded the Cavs to three straight NBA Finals appearances and the first championship in franchise history last year.
“We shouldn’t be shocked after we fired our head coach when we were in first place in the middle of the season,” Jefferson said Tuesday, referring to David Blatt’s dismissal in January 2016. “Still, it’s surprising.” Jefferson said he had a lengthy conversation with Griffin on Monday night after the news broke. He likened the ending to a “no-fault divorce,” pointing out that Gilbert did indeed tender an offer to Griffin — the details of which are not known — which Griffin walked away from.
Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert interviewed Chauncey Billups for his team’s general manager vacancy Tuesday afternoon in Detroit, sources told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. Billups, who currently works as an analyst for ESPN, has had a relationship with Gilbert for more than a decade. Billups endorsed Rock Financial, Gilbert’s Detroit-based mortgage company, when the former NBA point guard was a member of the Pistons.
Former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin left for his successors potential trades to bring either Chicago’s Jimmy Butler or Indiana’s Paul George to the team, sources told cleveland.com, and one or more deals Griffin constructed could happen without him. In either case, a third team would be involved and would take All-Star forward Kevin Love in exchange for the mix of picks and role players the Bulls and Pacers seek to rebuild in the event they choose to deal their franchise player.
To that end, ESPN reported Tuesday that Indiana and Los Angeles were engaged in trade talks. But the Cavs are still engaging the Pacers. Butler is under contract for two more seasons with a player’s option for 2019-20. Sources believed that Gilbert and Koby Altman, who is essentially serving as the Cavs’ acting GM, could end up swinging a major trade that was first cooked up in Griffin’s final hours on the job.
Former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin left for his successors potential trades to bring either Chicago’s Jimmy Butler or Indiana’s Paul George to the team, sources told cleveland.com, and one or more deals Griffin constructed could happen without him.
In either case, a third team would be involved and would take All-Star forward Kevin Love in exchange for the mix of picks and role players the Bulls and Pacers seek to rebuild in the event they choose to deal their franchise player.
Among the options Griffin presented to owner Dan Gilbert and front office personnel still in Cleveland involved Phoenix, which owns the No. 4 pick in Thursday’s draft.
“We shouldn’t be shocked after we fired our head coach when we were in first place in the middle of the season,” Jefferson said Tuesday, referring to David Blatt’s dismissal in January 2016. “Still, it’s surprising.”
Jefferson expressed confidence in Griffin’s future prospects of becoming a general manager once again, comparing him to one of Major League Baseball’s brightest executives who achieved unthinkable success with both the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs. “He’s the Theo Epstein of basketball,” Jefferson said of Griffin. “He ended the curse. Not just for a team, but for an entire city.”
In part, Griffin was frustrated he was still one of the lowest-paid GMs in the league at less than $2 million per year on one of the shortest contracts, just three years after accepting under duress in 2014. After acting as interim for several months, on the day he officially got the job, Griffin had to announce the firing of coach Mike Brown. Gilbert didn’t attend the news conference. Within days, Gilbert had offered John Calipari a job that would have made him Griffin’s boss.
Sometimes Gilbert would insert himself into trade talks, calling another owner directly, and derailing Griffin’s plans. Sometimes he’d send scathing emails on subjects within and outside Griffin’s control. And other times he was nowhere to be found, unreachable or distant at key moments.
Griffin balanced it all the past couple of seasons while dealing with his third bout of cancer since first being diagnosed in 2006. There were long treatment sessions. His signature red hair all but disappeared. Griffin hardly ever let on publicly, offering only a few clues along the way, such as the lapel pin he wore to his news conference after the dismissal of David Blatt, meant to show solidarity to others with the disease.
Despite not having formal permission, Griffin met with an intermediary of the Magic to discuss the job when the Cavs were off preparing for the Eastern Conference finals, sources said. The talks did not progress and the Magic moved on, hiring Jeff Weltman away from the Toronto Raptors and giving him the exact type of job and long-term contract Griffin had sought in Cleveland.
It came to a head over the past weekend. Gilbert and Griffin had a long meeting on Friday and discussed the future. The conversation did not go well, sources said. Griffin wanted a large pay raise and an upgrade in power. Gilbert wanted better communication and more aggression from Griffin as the team licked its wounds after a 4-1 loss in the Finals.
Gilbert didn’t consult James on the decision. Despite assumptions to the contrary even within the NBA, James doesn’t have much say in major franchise decisions. James did get a courtesy heads-up before an official announcement and the franchise player was upset, sources said.
Jason Lloyd: One person who knows Cavs well likened front office machinations to Game of Thrones. Fitting comparison.
Jeff Zillgitt: Also in story: David Griffin was paid in bottom third of league for GMs, per two people with knowledge of the situation. twitter.com/usatodaysports…
David Aldridge: But James was “disappointed” at Griffin ouster, per source, after Griffin’s successes bringing in Smith/Shumpert/Frye/Korver last two years.
David Griffin’s departure as Cavaliers’ general manager was “a shock” to star forward LeBron James, who can leave as a free agent after next season and moves made now by owner Dan Gilbert will affect his decision. A source close to James told cleveland.com that “LeBron’s a player, Dan’s the boss, this was Dan’s decision,” but also that “LeBron does care about what the roster looks like.”
“Who they bring in will play a big role in LeBron’s decision next summer,” said the source, who was granted anonymity to discuss James’ reaction. “If they bring in someone who is stable, who has the ability to make things happen, then fine. No harm no foul. But if it’s amateur hour, that’s a different story.”
At 6 p.m. ET on Monday, Griffin was on the phone assessing Jimmy Butler’s desire to play with LeBron James and the Cavs, according to two people with direct knowledge of the calls. They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the conversations. By 7:30 p.m. ET, Griffin and the Cavs had parted ways.
Chauncey Billups and the Cleveland Cavaliers have mutual interest in a front office role for the retired NBA player, sources told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. Billups has had a relationship with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert for more than a decade since Billups endorsed Rock Financial, Gilbert’s Detroit-based mortgage company, the former guard he was a member of the Detroit Pistons. Billups is also close with Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue and the two dined together several times during the NBA Finals.
Marc Stein: League sources say Justin Zanik will be a strong candidate to work under Chauncey Billups if Billups takes over the Cavs’ front office.
David Aldridge: There is no one else on Cavs’ radar right now other than Chauncey Billups (The Vertical first) to run front office after David Griffin ouster.
Dave McMenamin: Statement from David Griffin:
Howard Beck: Source: LeBron is “disappointed” at Griffin’s departure, as well as the timing, & “concerned” abt what this portends for Cavs going forward.
Howard Beck: Worth noting: LeBron and Griffin had a solid working relationship. James appreciated that Griffin made the moves necessary to win.
After the departure of general manager David Griffin, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is targeting Chauncey Billups to become the franchise’s president of basketball operations, league sources told The Vertical. Gilbert and Billups will meet soon to discuss the job and a potential deal, league sources told The Vertical.
Dave McMenamin: Per a Cavs source, assistant GM Koby Altman is the man fielding trade phone calls for the franchise right now.
Brian Windhorst: Dan Gilbert didn’t consult with LeBron James prior to parting with David Griffin, sources said. James had advocated for Griffin extension
Steve Kyler: For those wondering, Chauncey Billups and current Cavs coach Ty Lue have a long history together as friends off the court.
Currently the Cavs’ front office is being run by a conglomeration of Koby Altman, Brock Aller, Tony Leotti, Jon Nichols and Mike Gansey, according to a team source. Gilbert is also “very engaged” in the Cavs’ business right now as they prepare for the draft and field potential trade opportunities, according to the source.
Jeff Goodman: I just asked one GM who he would call with the Cavs for trade talks. His response: “Koby Altman?” Altman is highest ranking guy left.
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July 22, 2017 | 9:56 pm EDT Update
Jack Cooley must have made a good impression on the Kings during the recently completed Las Vegas Summer League. The former Notre Dame will sign a two-way contract with Sacramento, a league source confirmed to NBCSportsCalifornia.com’s James Ham.
Jared Sullinger has no problem using the F-word. Fat. Ask the out-of-work NBA player — the Phoenix Suns cut him in February — and the one-time Ohio State center from Northland speaks openly on the subject. I know, because I asked him. “You look like you’re down to, what, 240?” I asked, hoping not to have guessed embarrassingly high. “I wish,” he answered.
“My biggest was 320, when I was finishing my fourth year with Boston (2015-2016),” the 25-year-old offered. “Honestly, it was embarrassing.”
“I lost a year of basketball directly because of what I have done — my weight and my eating habits,” he said, explaining how his unwillingness to shed pounds led the Celtics to release him in 2016 and later contributed to the Toronto Raptors trading him to Phoenix on Feb. 23. The Suns cut him the next day.
Maybe an NBA franchise will notice Sullinger’s weight loss and show interest. He averaged 10.8 points and 7.5 rebounds in five NBA seasons. There is plenty of game left in him. Or maybe the next step is playing overseas. Either way, he does not sound worried. “Now that I have basketball and my health, I don’t give a damn about anything else,” he said.
July 22, 2017 | 7:31 pm EDT Update
The Cavs kept Irving’s request quiet. They wanted to patiently work on a deal without all the media frenzy happening right now. I also heard it was some players who began telling others — leading to the news coming out.