The Cavaliers have fired general manager Chris Grant, the team announced Thursday, as the team flounders on the court and struggles to fulfill the promise it had at the beginning of the year. David Griffin, the team's VP of Basketball Operations, was named the interim general manager.
Grant had been with the Cavaliers for eight years.
Cavs owner Dan Gilbert addressed the move in a press release Thursday:
This has been a very difficult period for the franchise. We have severely underperformed against expectations. Just as this is completely unacceptable to our loyal and passionate fan base, season ticket holders and corporate partners, it is also just as unacceptable to our ownership group. I can assure everyone who supports and cares about the Cleveland Cavaliers that we will continue to turn over every stone and explore every possible opportunity for improvement to shift the momentum of our franchise in the right direction. There is no one in our entire organization who is satisfied with our performance, and to say that we are disappointed is an understatement. We all know the great potential of our young talent, seasoned veterans, as well as our recent all-star addition. We believe a change in leadership was necessary to establish the best possible culture and environment for our entire team to flourish.
Disappointment likely does not even begin to describe the feeling surrounding this Cavaliers team right now.
Cleveland has had four top-five picks in the last three years. Yet, Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and Anthony Bennett have failed to develop together into a strong unit. True, Irving is an All-Star starter this year, but the rest of the team has struggled to provide him much support.
Andrew Bynum was signed and promptly released as he struggled to get in shape and make an impact for Cleveland. He was a big reason (both literally and analytically) that many had Cleveland pegged for a playoff spot this season.
The Cavaliers acquired Luol Deng hoping to salvage something from this season when it became clear Bynum was not going to work out.
Things still have not worked out as evidenced by last night's disaster at home against the undermanned Lakers. That very well might have been the last straw for Grant and was, at least, the horrific event that preceded his dismissal. At this juncture of the season, it certainly signals Cleveland is changing its focus for the rest of the season.
The last three years, Cleveland appears to have squandered its lottery luck. Who knows if the organization can survive another mistake or strike it rich again.