David Griffin joined the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010 as vice president of basketball operations and eventually took over in the spring of 2014, just a few months before LeBron James announced his decision to return to Cleveland. Fast forward three years later, a handful of trades, two head coaches, millions in the luxury tax and one NBA championship and Griffin is one of the NBA’s top executives. He’s also an executive who doesn’t have a contract once the season comes to an end.
As the Cleveland Cavaliers are on the brink of another first round sweep, this time with the Indiana Pacers as the victims, the team needs to avoid any and all distractions heading into the later rounds of the playoffs. While the future of their general manager might not be on the top of the minds of many players, it could be a topic that plays into the future of some. While many think ‘GM LeBron’ would do just fine taking over for Griffin, the Cavs still need a lead man to make those moves and Griffin has been the one calling the shots.
The Orlando Magic, a team that recently let go of their general manager Rob Hennigan, is looking for a replacement. Seeing as Griffin is hitting the market soon, he reportedly is a prime target for Orlando.
Following from Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.
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 president 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.
Nevertheless, owner Dan Gilbert has the highest payroll in the NBA at $126 million and rewarded coach Ty Lue with a five-year, $35 million contract. So far, Gilbert has hesitated in offering Griffin an extension that’s on par with the NBA’s championship-level executives, league sources told The Vertical.
The Magic are using Jed Hughes of the Korn Ferry search firm to gather information on the process, but Martins has been significantly engaged in the identification and vetting of candidates, league sources said.
Assistant GM Matt Lloyd has been working as the interim general manager, and will be a candidate for the permanent GM job. Lloyd is so well-respected by his front-office peers, several GMs told The Vertical, that they’ve been reluctant to make recommendations to Orlando about potential candidates because they hoped that Martins and ownership would seriously consider Lloyd’s candidacy.
The Magic are patient enough to wait until the end of the NBA Finals for a chance to engage Griffin, allowing Lloyd to prepare for the NBA draft and set a course for July free agency, league sources said.