Cleveland Cavaliers Had Great Plans For the NBA Draft, Then They Fired David Griffin

Cleveland Cavaliers Fans
Cleveland Cavaliers fans at The Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio, June 12. Angelo Merendino/Getty

Former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin had plans to bring either Jimmy Butler or Paul George to Cleveland before he got fired, according to reports.

Chairman Dan Gilbert announced that Griffin would be leaving the team this summer, just a week after losing the NBA Finals 4-1 to the Golden State Warriors. LeBron James was one of the players to express his disappointment about the decision.

Judging by how busy he had been planning for the Cavaliers' future, Griffin didn't expect to be let go. According to Joe Vardon of cleveland.com, Griffin had made plans for potential trades that would have seen Butler join the Cavs from Chicago and George from Indiana.

The report claims that Griffin has left the plans for his successor to follow through with, and some other deals may even happen without him. George has reportedly told the Paces that he is willing to leave in the summer of 2018 as a free agent, which may prompt the team to make a deal.

ESPN reported earlier in the week that the Pacers and Lakers were in talks about George's future, but that the Cavs remained interested in him. Vardon says that Gilbert and Koby Altman could still wrap up a deal that Griffin had planned on Thursday night.

Related: How to Watch the NBA Draft 2017 on TV and Live Steam in the U.S.

They may still be concerned about the future of their star player James, though, as the 32-year-old has expressed his disappointment at Griffin leaving. "If no one appreciated you Griff I did, and hopefully all the people of Cleveland!" he wrote on Twitter.

Rumors have suggested that James could even move to the Lakers next summer, when he has an opt-out clause in his contract. That could see him link up with George in the yellow and purple jersey instead.

Lonzo Ball, the likely No.2 pick on Thursday night, looks certain to be taken by the Lakers. In an interview with ESPN on Wednesday, he sent a message to James. "Hey man, LeBron, I like to win and I know you like to win," Ball said looking at the camera. "I think our games could help each other out a lot. Anytime you want the ball, just let me know and it's going to be there."