Cleveland Cavaliers

Magic Plan To Offer David Griffin Top Front Office Job

The Magic continue to focus on Cavaliers general manager David Griffin in their search for a top basketball executive, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, who reports that Orlando intends to offer Griffin a position as the club’s president of basketball operations.

[RELATED: Magic fire GM Rob Hennigan]

Griffin’s contract with the Cavs expires at the end of this season. However, as Windhorst notes, the Magic won’t be able to engage Griffin in contract discussions until Cleveland is eliminated from the playoffs — or wins the NBA Finals.

Orlando’s interest in Griffin was first reported last week by Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, who suggested that extension talks between the Cavaliers and their GM have been “stalled for months.” Wojnarowski noted at the time that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert has been reluctant to offer his general manager a contract on par with other championship-level NBA executives, but Windhorst writes that Griffin still may end up staying in Cleveland on a new deal.

Griffin has played a major role in building the roster that won the championship a year ago, and LeBron James has endorsed retaining the veteran executive, so it would be somewhat surprising if the Cavs let him get away.

If Orlando is unable to land Griffin, the team figures to turn to a list of candidates that reportedly includes Kevin McHale, Matt Lloyd, David Morway, Pat Garrity, and Travis Schlenk, among others.

Magic Considering Kevin McHale As President

Hall of Famer Kevin McHale is among the candidates to become team president in Orlando, according to Sam Amick of USA Today.

The TNT analyst would bring plenty of experience to the position. He served as president of basketball operations for the Timberwolves from 1995 to 2008, and twice took over as the team’s coach. His last NBA job was as coach of the Rockets from 2011 to 2015.

The Magic are hoping to hire someone with previous GM experience to fill the president’s role. However, McHale is also being considered for a front office position in Minnesota.

Orlando also has strong interest in Cavaliers GM David Griffin, who is not signed beyond this season. That explains why the process has gone so slowly since Rob Hennigan was fired April 13th, as the Magic have hired a search firm but have not spoken to any candidates. Griffin isn’t expected to discuss the job in Orlando until Cleveland’s playoff run is complete.

Amick adds that interim GM Matt Lloyd remains a candidate to keep that post on a permanent basis.

Cavaliers Notes: Griffin, Gilbert, Korver, Williams

The Magic and Suns could both make a run at Cavaliers GM David Griffin after the playoffs end, writes Sam Amico of Amicohoops.com. Orlando, which fired GM Rob Hennigan earlier this month, would consider doubling Griffin’s salary to bring him on board. Phoenix is a legitimate threat because Griffin is from that area and started his career with the Suns. GM Ryan McDonough is safe in Phoenix, according to Amico, but the team could offer Griffin a president’s role, similar to what Phil Jackson has in New York, where he would have the final say on all basketball decisions.

Griffin’s first choice is to stay in Cleveland, and owner Dan Gilbert would like to keep him, but that’s not a guarantee that things will work out. Griffin took over GM’s post in 2014 with the expectation of building a young team, but that changed quickly when LeBron James announced his intention to return. Griffin’s goals quickly changed to building a championship team, and his performance in doing that ensures he will get a big payoff this summer. The only question is whether it comes from the Cavs or someone else.

There’s more today out of Cleveland:

  • Kyle Korver took an instant liking to the organization after being acquired in a January 7th trade with the Hawks, relays Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. The Cavaliers have Bird rights on the free agent swingman and can go over the cap for his new contract. Vardon indicates that Korver seems likely to re-sign, but there haven’t been any serious internal discussions about his future because of the uncertainty surrounding Griffin.
  • The same situation affects point guard Deron Williams, Vardon adds in the same piece. The significant different for Williams is that because he signed as a free agent after agreeing to a buyout with the Mavericks in February, the Cavs don’t own his Bird rights. They will be limited to the veteran’s minimum, which was $1.55MM this season, and Williams can probably find better offers elsewhere.
  • Chemistry concerns that haunted the Cavaliers this season seem like less of an issue after the first-round sweep of the Pacers, writes Marla Ridenour of The Akron Beacon Journal. “A lot of egos can get in the way, a lot of things could get in the way of a team being successful as a team,” said Kyrie Irving. “Us putting our individual sacrifices to the side and the only thing that matters is us winning and advancing, as long as that’s first, we’ll always be in a good place.”

LeBron's Minutes Not A Concern

  • Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue isn’t worried about giving LeBron James too many minutes in any one playoff game, as he tells Chris Haynes of ESPN.com“Bron today just said he feels worse when he doesn’t play,” Lue said. “Like right now, he said he feels worse, so, we just got to gauge it and see how he feels. Everyone else’s minutes were great outside of LeBron. He said he feels great. He didn’t really have a defensive assignment. He was able to roam off guys during the series and, so, it was good for him. With him playing the minutes he played during [the] course of the regular season, it has helped him in the playoffs.”

Deron Williams Playing Important Role For Cavs

After LeBron James called for the Cavaliers to add a playmaker back in January, the team didn’t make a major move for the next several weeks, as the trade deadline came and went without that so-called “playmaker” joining the team. The Cavs lucked out in the buyout market though, landing veteran point guard Deron Williams after he was cut by the Mavericks, and according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, Williams is getting increasingly comfortable in Cleveland and is looking like that playmaker the club sought.

As LeBron, D-Will, and the Cavs look ahead to the second round of the playoffs, let’s round up a few more notes from around the Central division…

After LeBron James called for the Cavaliers to add a playmaker back in January, the team didn’t make a major move for the next several weeks, as the trade deadline came and went without that so-called “playmaker” joining the team. The Cavs lucked out in the buyout market though, landing veteran point guard Deron Williams after he was cut by the Mavericks, and according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, Williams is getting increasingly comfortable in Cleveland and is looking like that playmaker the club sought.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com conveys a similar sentiment in his latest piece, noting that Williams is receiving praise from the players whose assessment of the Cavaliers roster matters most: LeBron. “Every day he’s getting more and more comfortable with what we want to do,” James said of the veteran point guard. “We needed him. We’re happy we got him.”

LeBron James' First-Round Dominance

  • Could LeBron James be the best first-round performer in the history of the NBA? Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon suggests as much after the Cavaliers sweep. The King hasn’t lost an opening series in 12 seasons and hasn’t lost a single first-round game in five years.
  • Consider Cavaliers leader LeBron James’ record in the first-round as much a sign of his ability to be mentally prepared to tackle lower-seeded opponents as it is a sign of his unique skills, Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal writes.

Deron Williams Contributing In The Playoffs

  • The Cavaliers won Game 4 against the Pacers today and Williams played a key role in the win, as Chris Fedor of The Northeast Ohio Media group details. Williams can to Cleveland via the buyout market this season. It was previously reported that the waiver and buyout process could be altered this offseason.

LeBron James Praises Paul George

  • Though his Cavaliers are up three games against the Pacers (two at the time), LeBron James speaks highly of Paul George, Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal writes. “Paul George is one of those type of players that you have to just have your eyes on him every single possession because he’s capable of hurting you,” James said prior to Game 3.

Magic Have Interest In Cavs GM David Griffin

Having dismissed Rob Hennigan after the end of the regular season last week, the Magic are on the lookout for a new general manager, and one executive receiving interest from Orlando is the architect of the defending champions. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Magic have interest in Cavaliers GM David Griffin. Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders had mentioned Griffin earlier this week as a potential target for Orlando.

[RELATED: Magic fire GM Rob Hennigan]

While the Magic have several candidates on their list of possible replacements for Hennigan, the idea of hiring Griffin intrigues president Alex Martins and the Magic front office, sources tell Wojnarowski. Griffin’s contract with the Cavaliers expires at season’s end, and an extension isn’t necessarily a lock for the GM whose roster won the 2016 NBA championship.

According to Wojnarowski, talks between Cavaliers ownership and Griffin have been “stalled for months,” and there’s an increasing belief around the NBA that Griffin could be lured away from Cleveland. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert has been reluctant thus far to offer Griffin a contract on par with other championship-level executives around the league, sources tell Wojnarowski.

If the Magic do intend to seriously pursue Griffin, their search likely won’t be a quick one, since they’ll have to wait until the end of the Cavs’ playoff run to gauge Griffin’s interest in the job. In the meantime, the team is using Jed Hughes of the Korn Ferry search firm to gather information, while Martins has also been “significantly engaged” in identifying and vetting GM candidates, sources tell Wojnarowski.

As the Magic conduct their GM search, Matt Lloyd has been serving as the interim GM. Wojnarowski hears from GMs around the NBA that Lloyd is so well-respected by front office executives that those execs have been reluctant to make recommendations to the Magic, since they’re hoping Lloyd gets a chance at the full-time job.

Orlando has enough confidence in Lloyd, who is a candidate for the permanent job, that the team is willing to extend the search process and wait out the Cavs even if they make it to the NBA Finals, Wojnarowski writes. That would give Lloyd the opportunity to map out a plan for the draft and free agency.

Cavs Talk Stephenson Workout; Charge GM Wins D-League Award

  • Prior to signing with the Pacers last month, Lance Stephenson was worked out by the Cavaliers. Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com writes that the forward wasn’t offered a deal at the time because he was still recovering from a groin injury.
  • The general manager of the Cavaliers‘ D-League affiliate, Mike Gansey, was named the NBA D-League’s executive of the year according to a press release from the Canton Charge.
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