The Cleveland Cavaliers have stood in the Boston Celtics’ way in the Eastern Conference, bouncing them from the playoffs in two of the past three seasons. But Cavs owner Dan Gilbert might have unwittingly ended that Monday night.
Gilbert surprisingly fired general manager David Griffin, and reports indicated LeBron James neither was consulted on nor was happy with the decision.
If anyone doubted those reports’ veracity, James tweeted this just hours after Griffin’s firing.
Read between the lines, and you’ll see a man who returned to the Cavs, despite Gilbert’s infamous Comic Sans rant against him, and now isn’t too thrilled with the franchise’s direction without Griffin, who reportedly had been efforting some big trades before his firing. The Cavs clearly needed more firepower after the Golden State Warriors overwhelmed them in the NBA Finals, and adding Jimmy Butler or Paul George would’ve accomplished that.
Now the Cavs’ future is in James’ hands. He holds a $35.6 million player option in his contract after next season, so if he doesn’t like what he sees, he could bolt Cleveland again — to the Los Angeles Lakers, perhaps? — leaving a power vacuum in the East.
Enter the Celtics, who’ve methodically built what would be the conference’s best roster if the Cavs go LeBron-less. And over the next two weeks, Danny Ainge and Co. could draft a forward, sign Gordon Hayward in free agency and/or trade for Jimmy Butler, making Boston the new beast in the East, with Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford, and promising young talent and role players already in the fold.
If that happens, the C’s would have Gilbert’s rash decision-making to thank. Maybe they could send him a thank-you card, Comic Sans and all?
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images