Calling the 2017-18 campaign an important one for the Cleveland Cavaliers is a tremendous understatement. Next year has the potential to shape the next few years of the franchise, as free agency looms for LeBron James (once again) next summer. If he leaves, it’d be a massive blow to the team for a bevy of reasons, chief among them that Kyrie Irving would apparently also want to leave and because it would mean the best player in franchise history would have left twice because he didn’t think the team could help him win a championship.
All of this is to say that the Cavaliers’ front office should come together and map out a strategy on how they can make sure next year’s doomsday scenario doesn’t come true. Fortunately for them, we are here to help, as we have mapped out a foolproof five-step plan that is sure to convince LeBron to stay in Cleveland for a while.
STEP 1: Bring back David Griffin
It is really stunning that the Cavaliers didn’t more or less give Griffin a blank check. Forget the whole “he’s close with LeBron” thing, the fact that the franchise didn’t bring back the first general manager to ever bring them a championship is unfathomable.
Griffin is a smart, savvy GM who knows how to build a roster around its biggest strength. In the case of the Cavaliers, this meant building a roster around LeBron’s ability to find shooters and Irving’s ability to make plays. He acquired Kevin Love, paid Tristan Thompson, and acquired guys like J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver, who are deadly when they get a little space from behind the arc.
After getting turned down by Chauncey Billups — which is probably a blessing in disguise, because while Billups could end up being a very good executive, the Cavaliers are not in a position to be his first job — Cavs owner Dan Gilbert should strongly consider circling back around to Griffin. He won’t, but he should. Even if this doesn’t lead to LeBron sticking around, at least it puts the team in a position to have someone smart running the show after him.