With the NBA trade deadline looming, and the recent firing of general manager, Chris Grant, the Cleveland Cavaliers sent a message that no one is safe.
With a record of 17-34, after winning 115-113 Friday at Washington, with only 29 regular season games left, head coach Mike Brown needs to prove that he can direct the team in the right direction.
Grant’s firing happened hours after Cleveland lost to the injury-depleted Lakers Wednesday in which Los Angeles had only had five healthy players on the floor. A game that was not pretty for the Cavaliers or their fans. Grant had been with the organization a little over eight years and three and a half as general manager.
The Cavaliers record during his tenure as GM was 80-199, with the .287 winning percentage representing the worst in the league.
Cleveland’s outspoken and vocal owner, Dan Gilbert was not happy with Grant’s handling of draft picks, especially with the selection of Anthony Bennett. Bennett is not a bad player, but he wasn’t the best pick for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Grant’s free agency flops also were a reason behind his ousting in signing free agent center, Andrew Bynum only to eventually trade him to Chicago for Luol Deng.
Grant also acquired Jarrett Jack and Earl Clark, both of whom have fallen short of expectations.
Grant’s tenure as GM started with draft picks and creating salary cap space. One of his best trades was when he sent Mo Williams and Jamario Moon to the LA Clippers for Baron Davis and their first round pick, which is how Cleveland acquired Kyrie Irving with the No. 1 overall pick in 2011.
When Lebron James left in 2010, it was a devastating loss for the Cleveland Cavaliers and their fans. Gilbert and Grant needed to rebuild the team with the goal of fielding a young and successful team that would have chemistry and eventually contend for a championship.
Per the media speculation of in-fighting and dysfunction inside the locker room, there is no chemistry and change was needed. Is Grant largely responsible for three seasons of bad draft picks, coaching staff, bad chemistry and on court failures?
We will see.
Cleveland’s new acting GM David Griffin has his work cut out for him. Griffin has to pick up the pieces that Grant left in shambles. Once again, the Cavaliers have to rebuild from the ground up. Does that mean that Irving is leaving? Irving says no, does it mean he might have more of a say who stays and goes?
It is a good possibility that he will help clean house. No one is safe.
Players like Anderson Varajao, Tyler Zeller, Anthony Bennett, Dion Waiters, CJ Miles and Triston Thompson are not safe as the trade deadline nears.
Cavalier fans will need to steel themselves to the reality that after the deadline, there could be a very different looking team on the court, because if the firing of Grant showed anything, is that changes are coming–and soon.