LeBron James' Camp Reportedly Unaware David Griffin Was Leaving Cavaliers

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2017

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: General Manager David Griffin chats with LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during practice and media availability as part of the 2016 NBA Finals on June 12, 2016 at Oakland Convention Center  in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

While many fans joked that every team decision went through him for approval, LeBron James was apparently kept in the dark about the impending departure of Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin.

ESPN's Ryen Russillo reported James' camp was "surprised" to see the Cavs let Griffin go, while colleague Brian Windhorst said Gilbert didn't consult with James at all before making the decision.

James is "disappointed" at the news and is "concerned" about what this means for the future of the Cavaliers, a source told Bleacher Report's Howard Beck. James tweeted a thank you to Griffin while seemingly taking a shot at Cavs ownership:

LeBron James @KingJames

If no one appreciated you Griff I did, and hopefully all the people of Cleveland! Thanks for what u did for the team for 3 yrs! We got us 1🏆

Team owner Dan Gilbert confirmed the Cavaliers aren't offering an extension to Griffin's contract, which expires June 30.

James publicly offered his endorsement of Griffin in April.

"It makes no sense why he shouldn't get an extension," James said of Griffin, per ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin. "He's pulled every move—he's tried to make every move happen—to better this team to be able to compete for a championship. So we wouldn't be in this position, obviously, without him and without the guys that are here—from the coaching staff to the players to Griff. He's been a big piece of it."

Griffin's departure comes at a time when it appears LeBron could actually leave Cleveland for a second time, and Turner Sports analyst David Aldridge tweeted that is one of a few pressing issues for the team:

David Aldridge @daldridgetnt

But it nonetheless leaves the franchise in limbo at the worst possible time: w LeBron a free agent in ’18 & team needing roster upgrade now.

James only has one more guaranteed year left on his current deal. The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski (h/t Pro Basketball Talk's Dan Feldman) reported the four-time MVP would strongly consider signing with the Los Angeles Lakers or Los Angeles Clippers.

Wojnarowski posited that helping the Cavaliers win a title in 2016 gives James a little more freedom to explore opportunities outside Cleveland if he feels that's what's best for his career.

Taking that into consideration, letting Griffin go is a major risk for the Cavs, and keeping James out of the loop may jeopardize the team's chances of re-signing him a year from now.


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