Rumor: Former Cavaliers GM David Griffin will be one of the first to interview for Knicks job

Friday, June 30th, 2017 - Jobs

As if the trades of a few major stars wasn’t enough, the NBA offseason is officially here. The New York Knicks and Phil Jackson decided to part ways this week, and now it appears that New York will interview former Cleveland Cavaliers GM David Griffin for their open position.

Griffin’s release from Cleveland was abrupt, and honestly a bit surprising as not even LeBron James was consulted before he was let go by Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert.

While Cleveland had struggled to put real pieces around LeBron in the past, this team with Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, and Kyrie Irving was the best he’d had in years in Ohio. Griffin was a large part of that, and they had made the Finals yet again just a year after winning the championship in 2016.

New York had been interested in Griffin before when they reportedly wanted to pair him with Jackson in the front office in 2014.

Via Twitter:

Jackson was an unmitigated disaster in New York, forcing a gap between he and both of the teams biggest stars in Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. You have to think that any decision maker at this point would be a better candidate, or that there would at least be some hope ahead for Knicks fans.

Griffin would be a good choice, but it is unlikely that the next will have anything in place by the time free agency opens on July 1.

Chris Paul is now a member of the Houston Rockets. After a massive trade on Wednesday, the Al-Star point guard is now paired up with James Harden and Darryl Morey in Texas.

No doubt fans in Houston are excited to have one of the best point guards to ever play in the NBA. So too are Paul’s new teammates. One of them even took to Twitter on Thursday afternoon to express his excitement.

With nothing more than a few @ mentions and a photoshop, big man Clint Capela said what we were all thinking.

Via Twitter:

Capela shot 71.5 percent at the rim last season for Houston, and was assisted on 96.7 percent of his dunk attempts. Paired up with Harden, Capela was an absolute monster in the pick-and-roll and as a runner in transition.

We still don’t know how Harden and Paul will play together given that Harden had an MVP-caliber year in his new role as point guard. Obviously the two will share the duties, and it shouldn’t be a disaster by any means, but there is a question about duplication of services here.

That should be well and good for Capela, who will probably dunk just about every shot he takes next season.

It’s as predictable a summer occurrence as a terrible new Transformer’s movie or Bobby Flay getting another show on the Food Network:

John Calipari’s name will come up in the search for a team president/coach.

This time around the Kentucky coach’s people reached out to the Knicks — and, shockingly, this was somehow leaked to the media — but the Knicks are not interested, reports Ian Begley of ESPN.

Kentucky head coach John Calipari reached out to Knicks through intermediaries to express interest in the Knicks presidency, per ESPN league sources. The Knicks do not have interest in Calipari at the moment, per league sources. Presumably, Calipari would want to coach as well if he took over as president.

First off, the Knicks should have learned this from the Phil Jackson era: If you’re going to hire a legendary coach as your team president, make him coach, too.

Otherwise, this feels like an annual occurrence: A top NBA front office job opens up, one way or another (usually from Calipari’s end) his name gets brought up, someone makes sure that gets leaked to the media, and then he stays at Kentucky. The only question is will he be able to leverage this into another raise. You can bet it somehow comes up in recruiting that the Knicks “looked at him.”

This is really a “nothing to see here, move along” moment.

 

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A person with direct knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press that Kevin Durant has declined to opt in for the second year of his contract with Golden State and will become an unrestricted free agent.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because Durant’s choice – which was expected – had not been formally announced. He was due to make more than $27.7 million.

Durant has said he plans to re-sign with the team he led to a championship this month, his first title. He would now have to reach a new deal after free agency begins Saturday.

By going this route, the NBA Finals MVP provides the franchise with financial flexibility to try to bring back other key free agents, such as Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. Durant had a deadline of Thursday to make his decision.

He is expected to gain a 20 percent raise over the $26.5 million he made last season and would earn about $31.8 million.

 

The fact that Isiah Thomas’ name keeps coming up as a “dark horse” candidate to take over the Knicks, and that everyone needs to keep denying it, says everything you need to know about James Dolan’s franchise. The odds of Thomas being considered for this job should be the same as John Blutarsky’s grade point average.

Yet here we are. The latest denial comes from Thomas himself.

I’d like to think this puts the entire discussion to bed, but in the absence of information or even evidence of a plan — and we haven’t seen that from the Knicks — the internet will fill in the vacuum with rumors. And when Dolan’s involved that means Thomas’ name will come up.

The Knicks are reportedly interested in Raptors team president Masai Ujiri — and paying him so much he can’t say no. If not him, the Knicks could go get recently-released David Griffin out of Cleveland, pay him more than Dan Gilbert would, and then have Dolan step away and give him control. That’s two of at least a dozen good options the Knicks could choose from, but this is a Dolan-owned team, so anything and everything is on the table.

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