Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert officially introduced new general manager Koby Altman at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon and, unsurprisingly, the focus of most questions was about the current turmoil the franchise is apparently in after Kyrie Irving requested a trade.
Gilbert and Altman, for the most part, dodged questions about Irving’s request and the status of trade talks, with Altman calling it a “fluid situation,” while Gilbert acknowledged that he still expects Irving to be at training camp when it begins in September. Aside from that, the two avoided giving much in the way of concrete answers to questions about the Cavaliers’ immediate future.
However, when the topic of Paul George came up, Gilbert was oddly forthcoming about his feelings towards the Pacers sending him to the Thunder for what seemed like a relatively paltry return of Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
As Ira Winderman notes in the tweet, it’s extremely odd for a high-ranking team official to make such a statement regarding a trade involving two teams not his own. It’s clear that Gilbert is frustrated that the Pacers took the Thunder’s package over whatever it was the Cavaliers had put together — there are reports that they were close to a 3-team deal involving the Nuggets when the Pacers pulled the trigger on the OKC deal.
Gilbert’s statement indicates that he felt Cleveland’s proposed offer was far superior to that of the Thunder, which falls in line with what we’ve heard reported that return wasn’t completely the reason Indiana moved George to the West and OKC. Indiana got George out of the Eastern Conference — likely for the next five years, whether he signs in OKC or L.A. next summer — and avoided potentially prolonging the run of either Boston or Cleveland by not giving him to one of the East’s top teams.
That seems to have irked Gilbert, who nearly a month later is still a bit salty that George isn’t on the Cavs.