NBA rumors: Magic interested in David Griffin

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 CEO Alex Martins and top Magic officials, league sources said. Griffin’s contract expires at the end of the season and talks on a new contract with Cavaliers ownership have been stalled for months, league sources said. There’s an increasing belief among league executives that Griffin could be lured away from Cleveland, league sources said.

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The Cleveland Cavaliers' biggest impending free agent might not even wear a uniform. Cavs general manager David Griffin has been operating this season on the final year of his contract after failing to come to an agreement on an extension with ownership this past offseason, multiple sources told ESPN.
Some key voices inside the Cavaliers' locker room have spoken out in support of the GM who has spent more than half his life working in the NBA after starting with the Phoenix Suns as an intern in 1993. "It makes no sense why he shouldn't get an extension," James recently 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."
James acknowledged that Griffin's contract status mirrors the disrespect the GM has received because of the perception that James ultimately runs the franchise. "Obviously they always want to bring my name into it and say that obviously, it's easier because guys want to be here because I'm here," James told ESPN. "But at the end of the day, he still has to press the right buttons because I'm not in the war room, I'm not in the draft room with those (front office) guys. I don't know how much we may be over the luxury tax or if we have a trade exception here or how that's going to work there or how many days we got to do this. So, it wouldn't, seriously, I don't know why it would make any sense to bring in a new GM. That don't make no sense."
His loss could force general manager David Griffin to find another big man, one with the ability to protect the rim. If the Cavs go down that road, and a source with knowledge of the team's thinking said there's no immediate push to get a new player in during the upcoming three-game roadtrip, they would have to release someone since the roster is at the maximum of 15 players.
According to a team release, Bogut's tibia has been set and won't require surgery. The recovery plan will begin immediately with an extended period of immobilization and healing stimulation. Bogut, a free agent at the end of the season, signed with the Cavs for the prorated veteran's minimum of around $390,000. He is expected to recover in time for training camp, ahead of the 2017-18 season.
The running joke about the Cleveland Cavaliers is that when he’s not humiliating opponents with chase-down blocks, setting up his teammates with those sweet-and-smooth-as-cheesecake passes and continuing to defy age with those gravity-defying dunks, LeBron James is also running basketball operations for the franchise. GM LeBron, as he is known to fans on social media and elsewhere, calls the plays and calls the shots – a characterization that should offend David Griffin, the man who is actually paid to do the job and has spent the past three years aggressively making the decisions to ensure that James is always positioned to win championships. “I take offense to it on [James’] behalf at times,” Griffin told The Vertical. “He doesn’t like that image. I don’t think he wants that image. He wants to lead his troops. He wants to be a player. He wants to lead the guys from within. He never tried to do any more than that. I think for him, it’s almost an unfair characterization of him, that he’s some kind of overlord. That’s not at all what he does.”
Frye referred to Griffin as “a magician” for his ability to always find the right complementary pieces, emphasizing the latest deal for Korver, a shooter who should benefit considerably from the open looks James and Irving tend to provide. James has been making his teammates better since he entered the league but has evolved into something much more in Year 14. “I call LeBron ‘Cheat Code’ at this point,” Griffin told The Vertical, with a laugh, “and the reason is, I know we’ll get almost all of a player’s strengths and really diminish a lot of his weaknesses, and it’s really [because of LeBron’s] presence for the most part. “I’ve said this several times since, but you’re basically charged with the legacy of Babe Ruth, and it’s our responsibility to allow that legacy to grow and evolve,” Griffin told The Vertical. “So it’s almost like a sacred trust that the kid gives you. He’s so good, in his own right, by himself, that he sort of mandates you have to be a title contender just by his presence alone … and if you don’t capitalize on the years he has left, then shame on us.”
Seemingly the only one in the building Griffin hasn't done a deal for is himself; his contract expires at the end of this season.
The Cavs don't have a large front office. After Griffin, it's vice president Trent Redden, who travels the world scouting players the Cavs rarely have picks to use on, and assistant GM Koby Altman, who has a background in the Ivy League and a growing respect in the NBA. Both Redden and Altman will probably be on short lists for future GM openings. Brock Aller is the senior director of strategy, and he has helped identify some of the unique methods the team has used to create trade exceptions to add players despite being capped out. The new collective bargaining agreement has closed some of the loopholes the team exploited over the past few years.
But the Cavs have options. They can make a deal before the trade deadline, and they also have a $9.6 million trade exception to use. Depending on who that player is if they use the trade exception, it would add salary and increase the luxury tax payment. But for the right player, who can help win another championship, the Cavs are willing to make that deal.
He smiles when he sees Delly hit another three or Thompson chase another rebound. He wishes Irving were healthy. He thinks back to 2010-11, when Cleveland lost 26 games in a row, and the future looked bleak. Four years later, the Cavaliers have completed a historic turnaround, and no shortage of people made it possible. James heads the list, of course, with Griffin close behind. But Grant is on there as well. He kept the cap sheet clean and the war chest full, for the moment the Cavs would need it. “You’re proud it all came together for the team,” Grant said. “But more than anything, you’re happy for the people who are still there.”
Chris Haynes: "The assistant coaches of Cleveland Cavaliers' head coach Tyronn Lue obviously they still don't have a contract in place. People I've spoken with, they have told me that frustration is at its worst regarding why they do not have contracts. Their contracts expired July 1st. Assistant coach Damian Jones, Phil Handy, James Posey, Jim Boylan and to a certain extent, Larry Drew. Frustration is mounting. It's at an unbelievable point, that's how it has been described to me."
"You have to understand, it is so much different in Miami than everywhere else," said Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who played seven years with James in Cleveland before joining him in Miami for a season. "Cleveland is part of the mainstream of the NBA. In Miami, there is one man in charge and that is Pat Riley and everyone falls into line from there. It's very simplified for you. There is one way to do things, his way."
A lover of practical jokes, Gilbert once wanted to dummy up a fake news release that the Cavs were signing Dennis Rodman to a 10-day contract and put it out on April Fools' Day; he was talked out of that one. After a playoff victory over the Washington Wizards 10 years ago, Gilbert had a remote-controlled fart machine installed under coach Mike Brown's seat. When Brown went up to the dais for the postgame news conference, Gilbert stood in the back and worked the controls. Brown was flummoxed -- although the microphones didn't pick up the sounds.
Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com on The Dan Patrick Show: They were highly pissed. I knew this for a fact. They were highly ticked off, this team, when the team didn’t re-sign Kendrick Perkins and they ended up picking up over the summer Sasha Kaun – a 29-, 30-year-old rookie who has not really played at all and I don’t really think is ready for the NBA. So, he’s collecting about $2 million right now a season and not even playing. Kendrick Perkins would’ve been brought back for the veteran’s minimum. Players – I know for a fact, I talked to them – they were highly ticked off about that, not bringing him back. Because it wasn’t about his numbers. It was about the intangibles, the emotional leadership and the enforcer, the enforcement role he brought to the team.
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September 26, 2021 | 12:48 pm EDT Update

Ja Morant: 'I'm a Top 5 point guard'

Where do you feel you rank among the top point guards in the game? Ja Morant: Top 5. If you’re Top 5, who else is there with you? Ja Morant: Morant: Steph (Curry). I’m a big Chris Paul fan. I’d say Dame (Lillard) and (Russell) Westbrook. It’s tough. The point guard position is so loaded. Some guys have to get left out.
Your teammate, Jaren Jackson Jr., was the No. 2 breakout player, according to a poll of 15 NBA executives I did for HoopsHype. What do you expect from a healthy Jaren this season? Ja Morant: To me, personally, I think he’s No. 1 if he’s healthy. He’s been battling some injuries that set him back. A healthy Jaren is definitely the number one breakout player this season. He’s just a special talent that’s gifted. He’s 7-foot-1, can shoot the three, can put it on the floor, and can play inside. He does so much on the floor. As long as he stays healthy, which we need him to be, he’s definitely number one.
What do you think of Dillon Brooks as a defender and as a player overall for this team? Ja Morant: Dillon is an important piece to this team offensively and defensively. I’ve been saying a lot now that I feel like he doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his defense, especially against some of the top guys. Some of them probably won’t admit it, but I feel like most of the games when they struggled, Dillon was guarding them. Soon, that’ll come that he gets his respect for that. Offensively, how he’s able to score the ball from all three levels is big-time for us.
Speaking of locker rooms, what are the expectations in the locker room for the Grizzlies this season? Where do you guys think you can compete on what type of level? Ja Morant: I feel like we can compete with the top teams in this league. We all have that mindset, and this chip on our shoulder we go out and play with each and every night. Now, it’s continuing to buy in and keep gelling as a team and getting better with chemistry. Having more guys step up and talk who’ve been in the game for a while to help the young guys come along. Our goal this year is to continue to be better in all areas and better than we were last year.
Granted, all of that stuff is a lot easier to say in the offseason than it is to actually feel when a player is on the outside looking in. But while it could just be a bunch of PR-friendly cliches being spewed, this team also really could be that committed to winning. Ellington certainly thinks so, and during a recent appearance on BallIsLife’s “Noble and Roosh Show,” he also outlined a few other reasons he thinks guys will be all right with not playing as much as they have in the past: “I think we have one of the older rosters, so I think guys are able to be mature about that. We understand that everybody’s not going to be able to play 30 minutes a game, so there’s going to be sacrifice. There’s going to be sacrifices that need to be made, and I think that’s part of the understanding. “But also, understanding that with the older roster, guys aren’t going to be able to play. Guys aren’t going to play every single game. I think you’re going to see sometimes guys get rested and that’s where the ‘Next Man Up’ mentality comes into play.”
It’s why he also likes that the team made sure to add a few younger players as well: “I think it’s a great combination, man, of basketball IQ, championship experience, hunger with the guys wanting more. You got a mix of guys that haven’t won championships who are hungry for championships. You got some young guys in Kendrick Nunn, Malik Monk, THT, you got some young guys that are dogs. I think it’s a great mix of veterans and some mid guys and some young guys. I think the roster was constructed beautifully.”
September 26, 2021 | 6:15 am EDT Update

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: "There’s no room for players who do not want to get vaccinated"

“The NBA should insist that all players and staff are vaccinated or remove them from the team,” NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tells Rolling Stone. “There is no room for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their teammates, the staff and the fans simply because they are unable to grasp the seriousness of the situation or do the necessary research. What I find especially disingenuous about the vaccine deniers is their arrogance at disbelieving immunology and other medical experts. Yet, if their child was sick or they themselves needed emergency medical treatment, how quickly would they do exactly what those same experts told them to do?”
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