Gilbert has known Billups since his days with the Pistons. Meanwhile, the owner's announcement was likely meant to restore some clarity to a situation that remains highly unsettled at a very delicate time. However, it was very clear that LeBron wanted Griffin to stay on board with the team. The Celtics traded the No. 1 pick.
ESPN reported James was "surprised" that Griffin would not return despite having stalled contract negotiations throughout the year.
According to multiple reports, LeBron, who advocated for Griffin to get an extension, was not consulted before he and the team made a decision to part ways. To that end, Cleveland has been trying to land a premier player to pair with James and guard Kyrie Irving, likely by trading away Love.
Owner Dan Gilbert said in a statement, "On behalf of the entire organization I would like to thank Griff for his leadership and many contributions during his time here, including his role in the franchise's first National Basketball Association championship". Hanging over everything in Cleveland is the possibility that James himself will leave the team in 2018, when he is expected to opt out of his contract. Reports said the Cavaliers' front office encountered trouble in trade talks because of the uncertainty about Griffin. Between the Butler rumors and the team's pursuit of a rental of Indiana Pacers forward Paul George, they're looking at all angles for a possible fix to their Warriors problem. But how will he fit in a new role in the front office?