As you guys all know by now, I’m a big LeBron James fan. I’ve been a big fan of his ever since he was a junior in high school and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed following his career. Yes, I’m one of “those” fans who always roots for LeBron wherever he goes. Go ahead and make fun of me! You should. But I’ve had some great memories following his career over all these years.
Anyways, I’m concerned about the situation in Cleveland right now. The Cavs seem like an absolute mess and it all starts at the top with their owner, Dan Gilbert.
First and foremost, they don’t have a GM. They haven’t had one for a few weeks now ever since the team decided to part ways with David Griffin.
Gilbert and Griffin elected to part ways last month after a failed yearlong negotiating window. Griffin, 43, made less than $2 million a year, one of the lowest salaries in the league for that position. Why he was making this little is absolutely beyond me.
Griffin orchestrated multiple complex, high profile trades that contributed to the franchise capturing its first NBA title in 2016, wanted a significant salary boost and more power within the organization. Can you blame him? He brought Kevin Love here, signed Tristan Thompson, and brought in guys like JR Smith and Kyle Korver. He did a good job of building the team.
But Gilbert refused to give him a salary increase for some reason.
In Cleveland’s most recent GM search, the Cavs offered former NBA All-Star Chauncey Billups what is viewed in NBA circles as a below-market salary of $2 million annually for the role of serving as president of basketball operations, league sources told ESPN.
It's widely believed that Chauncey Billups will be a very good front office executive one day. He’s a very sharp guy and has a great basketball mind. I saw this first hand here in Detroit when I grew up watching Mr. Big Shot. He was fabulous and is extremely smart. I’ve met him a few times and have nothing but great things to say.
According to ESPN, the Cavs initial offer was $1.5 million. League sources told ESPN that $4 million is typically the starting point of what an individual in that role should earn. Sources also maintained that financial compensation wasn't the only factor as to why the 40-year-old Billups turned down the job on Monday after weeks of deliberation, but it played a part.
I also think the other obvious part is that Chauncey knows LeBron will be leaving Cleveland after next season. He didn’t want to run the front office of a complicated, troubled, organization that is sure to crumble after LeBron leaves. Chauncey doesn’t want to be a part of that.
But Gilbert’s refusal to pay market price for front office executives is what’s mind boggling to me. He’s always been known for his unwillingness to pay top dollar for front-office leadership.
Dan Gilbert’s net worth is a staggering $5.9 billion. I have zero idea why he’s so cheap about hiring good front office people for a huge entity like the Cavaliers. It makes no sense.