Bryan Colangelo’s successor in Philadelphia may be a fairly well-known one.
Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported on Thursday that former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin is among those expected to interview for the 76ers’ GM job. O’Connor also lists Boston Celtics assistant general manager Mike Zarren and NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe as other potential candidates.
Griffin, who served as Cavs GM for three years from 2014 to 2017 and helped construct their championship team in 2016, is probably the standout name of those candidates. As for the Sixers, who just parted ways with Colangelo in the wake of his burner account scandal, their interest certainly makes sense since they are expected to pursue LeBron James in free agency this summer. The timing here is also something with Griffin recently voicing his opinion that Philly already has an advantage in potentially signing James.
- David Griffin
The Philadelphia 76ers definitely exceeded expectations this season, and now one prominent NBA figure thinks that they may also have the upper hand this offseason in the LeBron James sweepstakes.
Former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin appeared Sunday on CBS Sports Radio’s “The Zach Gelb Show” and spoke on James’ impending free agency. Griffin pointed to the fact that the four-time MVP shares an agent (Rich Paul of Klutch Sports) with Sixers star Ben Simmons, saying he thought that was “significant” and would give Philly “a leg up” in possibly signing him.
David Griffin on Lebron James possibly to Sixers on @ZachGelb show on @CBSSportsRadio:"I do think it's significant that Rich Paul is the representative for Ben Simmons as well, so he's going to know the org very well. That will certainly give them a leg up"
— Jon Johnson (@jonjohnsonwip) June 3, 2018
The LeBron-Sixers rumors are certainly nothing new — Simmons himself recently fueled further speculation with some comments about potentially playing with James. And while fit issues may exist, Philly is a young team with a wide-open window of contention that would allow James to remain in the East, so they may have advantages even beyond just what Griffin touched on.
Just how brilliant of a basketball mind is LeBron James? So brilliant that he apparently knows opponents’ plays better than some of them do.
Former Cleveland Cavaliers GM David Griffin was on the “Bill Simmons Podcast” this week and shared a mind-blowing story. According to Griffin, last year in the playoffs LeBron helped tell the Toronto Raptors’ Patrick Patterson where he was supposed to go on a play.
“There’s literally nothing you can show him that he can’t do. There’s no play you’ll run against him he can’t name, and then go out there and teach your players how to do it better than anyone else,” Griffin said on a recent episode of the Bill Simmons Podcast.
“I was in the gym when I watched him on the floor against Toronto tell Patrick Patterson where he was supposed to go on the play they had called out of a timeout late in the fourth quarter. He was like ‘no Pat, you’re supposed to stand over there and set a pin down for DeMar (DeRozan) over here.'”
This story probably should not come as a huge surprise at this point. The stories about James’ knowledge of the game are legendary. Several years ago, another NBA star talked about how well James knew their plays. He’s only gained more knowledge in the five years since then.
The combination of his elite physical skills and his peak mental skills continues to make James the most dangerous player in the league.
The Detroit Pistons should have their pick of the litter as they look to replace former head coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy.
The Pistons announced on Monday that they had mutually agreed to part ways with Van Gundy after four seasons in charge. Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press reports that, though it is “very preliminary,” former Cavs GM David Griffin, current Raptors G-League coach Jerry Stackhouse, and former Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer are among those who have been linked to the team.
Very preliminary, but David Griffin as GM and Jerry Stackhouse and Mike Budenholzer for coach are potential names to look at with the #Pistons.
— NerdOnPistons (@Vincent_Ellis56) May 7, 2018
With a solid (albeit underachieving and expensive) core, the Pistons should make for an intriguing opening, especially since they are splitting Van Gundy’s former role into two separate jobs. As for the candidates, Budenholzer and Stackhouse have been linked to a number of other head coaching vacancies in recent weeks as well. Meanwhile, Griffin has kept a fairly low profile ever since last summer when he saw a potential job offer fall through amid some drama.
Letting David Griffin walk just one year after winning a title was already a bad look at the time for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now we are getting an idea of just how much long-term damage it may have done to the franchise.
Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com reported on Saturday that owner Dan Gilbert’s failure to retain the former Cavs GM upon the expiration of his contract last summer damaged the relationship between LeBron James and the team. Pluto notes Griffin’s “excellent” communication skills with the players and coaches as well as the respect that the four-time MVP had for Griffin.
It’s a revelation that only adds to the scrapheap for Cleveland ahead of James’ impending free agency after the season. All of their other players seem to be either injured or ineffective, and they are now just 6-9 this calendar year after a 120-88 thrashing at the hands of the Houston Rockets on Saturday. That’s not even considering the locker room drama plaguing the team right now.
Four years after taking Anthony Bennett with the top overall pick, former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin is admitting his L.
In a recent interview with Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, Griffin, who was Cavs VP of basketball operations at the time and not yet their GM, nonetheless took responsbility for being the driving force behind their decision to draft Bennett.
“The issue with Anthony was, and we had no way of knowing it at the time, the kid had no desire to overcome adversity whatsoever,” said Griffin. “As soon as it was hard, he was out. His whole life, he rolled out of bed bigger, better, and more talented than everybody else. As soon as it was hard, it was over.
“And I was the one on campus at UNLV,” he added. “I’m the one who got sold the bill of goods and I bought it hook, line, and sinker. You f— up sometimes. But I feel bad [ex-Cavs GM] Chris [Grant] took it for that, because Chris was the one guy who wasn’t sure.”
Bennett was a disaster from the very start, and the Cavs gave up on him after his rookie season, trading him to Minnesota as a part of the Kevin Love deal. He would play for three NBA teams in the three seasons that followed, each one waiving him within a year. Now, Bennett is out of the league after putting up just 4.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game in 151 career games, and he may easily go down as the biggest NBA draft bust of all-time.
As for Griffin, he did still enjoy a run of success with the Cavs that culminated with a championship in 2016. But he is now out of a job, and Bennett probably represents one of a number of what-ifs from Griffin’s time in Cleveland.
Though the team proceeded in a different direction than he might have taken them in, former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin still thinks they did quite well for themselves in their big trade with the Boston Celtics.
Making an appearance Tuesday on SiriusXM NBA Radio, Griffin discussed the blockbuster deal and said the Cavs did “a good job” in the return they got for All-Star guard Kyrie Irving.
"I think they still follow up on the deal, they did a good job."-Fmr Cavs GM David Griffin on value Cavs acquired from Celtics other than IT pic.twitter.com/AjF1s407gH
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) August 29, 2017
Griffin, who left the Cavs earlier this summer, preferred not to trade Irving and instead was intent on keeping the team in win-now mode. But though the deal still has some hurdles to clear, the Cavs managed to stay competitive while also planning for the future, and Griffin can definitely commend that.