The Cleveland Cavaliers firing general manager David Griffin so close to draft night raises a lot of questions marks. According to rumors it leaves LeBron James furious, Kyrie Irving and several others thinking about pushing for trades, and the situation with the Chicago Bulls and Jimmy Butler isn’t looking good either.
After losing to the Golden State Warriors 4-1 in the NBA finals, it was obvious the Cavaliers were going to look for a big move. The two big names were Paul George (publicly seeking a trade from the Indiana Pacers) and Butler (rumored to be looking out until yesterday); not just to level the playing field with the Warriors, but also to prevent the Boston Celtics from gaining ground on them, although there seems to be quite a lot of ground to make up at the moment for Boston.
However, Griffin being fired for whatever reason (it has to be more than just him looking for a raise) has thrown things into turmoil. James, who is often referred to as the Cavs real general manager, doesn’t seem to be pleased, and he certainly seemed more irked about it on social media in comparison to when David Blatt was fired last season. Irving, some believe, is actually going to push for a trade, although it’s hard to believe some team can come up with the goods (picks & players) to make that deal happen. And Butler?
Before the Griffin firing, media outlets in Chicago were reporting he was going to ask Gar Forman and John Paxson to work out a deal that gets him to Cleveland, as difficult as that would have been. But now? Whether he’s been contacted by players from Cleveland telling him to stay away or not, he doesn’t seem to be moving. Butler was never happy about leaving to Boston and the Lakers are in love with Paul George. Butler will probably stay a while longer (although anything can happen). Dwyane Wade is re-signed, and Rajon Rondo is kinda up in the air, with both Wade and Butler preferring a point guard who can shoot from the outside and be less ball dominant.
A lot of rumors flying around, some of them making sense, others feeding off paranoias and conspiracy theories. What’s true and what’s not? We’ll be a lot smarter after the draft, which could provide a good indication of where the wind blows.