The Cleveland Cavaliers still are without a replacement for general manager David Griffin, and it appears they have only themselves to blame.
The Cavs reportedly parted ways with Griffin before the NBA Draft, and former NBA point guard Chauncey Billups was rumored as a favorite to replace him. But Cleveland offered Billups just $2 million annually for its president of basketball operations job, a number that’s viewed as a “below-market salary” in NBA circles, according to a report by ESPN’s Chris Haynes and Marc J. Spears.
Per ESPN’s report, the Cavs initially offered Billups only $1.5 million per year to take the job. The starting point for a similar NBA front office position usually is $4 million, sources told ESPN, meaning the Cavs essentially lowballed Billups by more than half of what he should be making.
Billups turned down Cleveland’s offer Monday, and while money wasn’t the sole reason for his decision, it still “played a part,” per ESPN.
As Haynes and Spears point out, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert its notorious for underpaying its top front office employees. Griffin made less than $2 million a year while helping build a championship roster in Cleveland, while Phil Jackson signed a five-year, $60 million contract to do essentially the same job for the New York Knicks in 2014 and ended up running the franchise into the ground.
Billups, currently an NBA analyst for ESPN, likely will have other front office job offers, as he’s viewed as a strong GM candidate despite no prior experience in the role. Still, losing out on the former Detroit Pistons star is a tough look for Cleveland, especially amid speculation LeBron James could skip town when his contract expires in 2018.
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