The axe has fallen on Chris Grant.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported Thursday, Feb. 6, that Grant has been fired as general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers:
The Cleveland Cavaliers have fired general manager Chris Grant, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 6, 2014
Brian Windhorst of ESPN also reported Grant's firing:
The Cavs have fired general manager Chris Grant according to a source. First reported by Yahoo.— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) February 6, 2014
Marc Stein of ESPN also had where the Cavs could go next in the front office after Grant's firing:
Cavs announce David Griffin has taken charge of Cleveland front office as acting GM to replace the fired Chris Grant— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 6, 2014
Few will see this news as a major surprise. This year has become a disaster, as the Cavs are a laughingstock. Despite their initial intention of winning this season, they have a record of 16-33 and are 5.5 games out of the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference.
Who is most to blame for the Cavs' struggles?
The blame goes all around, whether it's the listlessness of the players, Kyrie Irving's failure to lead the team, Mike Brown's coaching or Grant's decisions behind the scenes.
Since Brown is only in the first year of a five-year deal, there's little chance that he's getting fired at this point, and there's even less of a chance that they'll shop Irving, their franchise centerpiece.
Grant, on the other hand, was expendable. He was front and center in the team's rebuilding plans, so he does deserve much of the scrutiny he's received.
There's no question that the GM had a difficult time making the Cavaliers contenders again after "The Decision." The personnel moves Grant has made since then have not panned out, and they've resulted in Cleveland having the lowest winning percentage of any team since Grant was hired, per ESPN Stats and Info:
Since LeBron James left the Cavaliers - and Chris Grant was named GM - no team has had a worse win percentage than Cleveland (.287)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 6, 2014
Most notably, signing Jarrett Jack—this past offseason's biggest addition—has done next to nothing to help the team, as his offensive style doesn't complement Irving and Dion Waiters, and his defensive contribution is nonexistent.
Stockpiling draft picks hasn't worked out either, as the selections of Waiters, Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennett have all been heavily criticized.
In the end, the writing was on the wall for Grant, and now it's up to owner Dan Gilbert to find the man who can right the ship and help turn the Cavaliers into contenders again.