The Cleveland Cavaliers are off to a winning start after firing General Manager Chris Grant amid a six-game losing streak, after winning Friday night against the Washington Wizards and then again Sunday night in overtime against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Wizards, who are currently the fifth seed in the East, could not climb the out of their 14-point, fourth quarter deficit to the Cavaliers, who were without Luol Deng, their second leading scorer.
The win was not at all a pretty one for Cleveland, letting Washington get back in the game and cutting the lead to two with three seconds before Jarrett Jack’s missed free throws and a scramble for the ball that did not allow the Wizards to get a shot off.
But, as they say, a win is a win.
Sunday night against Memphis yielded another close win, going to overtime with the Grizzlies. Kyrie Irving scored the final four points of regulation to send it to OT, and Luol Deng capped the extra time with a trey as Cleveland never lost that lead en route to their second win without Chris Grant as GM.
Now at 2-0 without Grant at the helm, what do the Cavaliers do next to ensure the continued winning they’ve seen and facilitate it? Who will replace Chris Grant?
There has been a lot of talk on this topic, which has brought forward many potential candidates to fill the void. My question is, who has the ability to get the Cavaliers to start playing as a unit?
In reality, current VP of Basketball Operations and acting GM, David Griffin, will hold the interim roll until at least next season. The Cleveland Cavaliers would be wise to bring in a consultant to help with the many problems they are currently facing, but Griffin is a guy that is well respected in basketball circles, with his time spent in Phoenix as Senior VP of Operations from 2007-2010; he was apart of the organization for the 14 years prior to that, working his way up to that position. In his 17 years with the Suns, Phoenix had 10 seasons of 50 wins or more and made some great moves to bring in players that would play a vital part in the organization’s success like Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, and Steve Nash.
The question is, what was his impact on the Cavaliers’ current state? Reality is that he had little impact on the moves made with Chris Grant as GM (or else he would probably be fired, too) and that he reported to Dan Gilbert as Grant did.
The problem lies in who is actually in charge in Cleveland?
Players have reported problems within the coaching staff as to who is making the calls, and the same problem seems to lie in the front office, as well. Dan Gilbert obviously has the most stake in this (nine digit valued) team and must be the one to call the shots. Therefore, he must bring in someone who can effectively bring this team some sort of consistency and keep everyone on the same page, from the top, down. There must be a driving force in the Cleveland Cavaliers front office that will strive for a winning tradition, while having the ability to develop a young core.
The Cavaliers have the player personal to bring about wins in Cleveland and definitely the talent to make the playoffs in the lowly Eastern Conference; its really a matter of who has the ability to bring all the pieces together to play like a team that can compete in the playoffs. Because right now, the Cleveland Cavaliers are not in contention to expedite winning and need to fix all the behind-the-scenes drama in order to fulfill the preseason wishes of making the playoffs. Cleveland needs some accountability.