The View From Pluto: Griffin's Exit Is The First Of Big Changes Coming For The Cavs

Jun 21, 2017

Pluto says Cavs owner Dan Gilbert feels the pressure of winning now

The Cavs are wasting no time making big changes following their NBA Finals loss. On Monday, owner Dan Gilbert parted ways with General Manager David Griffin after three seasons. 

WKSU commentator Terry Pluto talks about Griffin's role, departure and what it means for what's likely to be a busy summer for the Cavs. 

Pluto likens the general manager of an NBA team to the conductor of an orchestra. They're in charge of making sure all the parts are working together. 

"It's a high-pressure job that's a lot different from others."

'[Griffin] was looking for a little more power and a little more appreciation."

A 'win-now' mindset at the top
Pluto says all that pressure comes from owner Dan Gilbert. 

“[He's] a hard-driving, big spending, win-now owner. ... And that put Griffin in a spot of trading all kinds of young players and draft picks. In his three years here, he delivered. Three trips to the Finals. One title."

Pluto says there were signs a year ago that Griffin was likely on the way out.

"Last summer, coach Tyronn Lue’s contract was extended for five years and Griffin’s was not. They periodically have offered Griffin some sort of an extension. He was looking for a little more power and a little more appreciation."

Gilbert's GM history
Pluto says Gilbert has a rocky history with his general managers since he bought the team in 2005. "None of them received a contract extension. All either left on their own or were fired before their contract was up."

Still, Pluto says Gilbert has to get these moves right. 

"LeBron James could be a free agent next summer. So if [Gilbert] brings in a general manager who LeBron thinks doesn’t do well or makes some trades that go very bad, LeBron could say, ‘I’m out of here.’"

Big moves on the way
Pluto says fans can expect a very interesting summer. "They're going to be looking for a GM; they're going to be trying to trade for a top player like Jimmy Butler or Paul George, and they’re going to be trying to sign some cheap, younger players. 

And then finally everybody is going to looking at what the Cavs did and does it give them any chance at all to beat Golden State next year.”